One of the most successful football seasons in Polk County in over 50 years produced a long list of accolades for the high school football players who showed out on Friday nights last fall.
Both Cedartown and Rockmart players took top honors in their respective regions when each one’s all-region teams were announced in the last few weeks.
Cedartown won the Region 7-4A title, it’s first since 2001, and rode an eight-game winning streak to the Class 4A quarterfinals, the farthest it has gotten in the playoffs since 2002.
Bulldogs swept the Region 7-4A awards, with quarterback and running back Jayden Johnson named the region’s player of the year, while CJ Washington named the athlete of the year and Jai Barnes named the lineman of the year.
First-year Cedartown head football coach Jamie Abrams was also named the region’s coach of the year.
Johnson signed with Arkansas in December and was enrolling early to get started with the Razorbacks this spring, and Washington, a junior, is committed to Georgia.
The Bulldogs were well-represented on the all-region first team with 10 players earning that honor.
These are running back Harlem Diamond, wide receiver Jordan Johnson, tight end Demario Sims, offensive lineman Jacob Rush, defensive lineman MJ Whatley, inside linebackers Eli Barrow and Corben Cuzzort, outside linebacker Jeremiah Johnson, and defensive backs Donald Knight and Micah Arbuthnot.
Quarterback Reece Tanner, running back Patrick Gardner and offensive lineman Jaylon Stephenson were named to the all-region second team, while linemen Jakhari Robinson and Peyton Nickolopolous received honorable mentions.
Rockmart won its fourth straight region title this past season and first as a member of Region 6-3A. The Jackets took Cedar Grove to triple overtime in the Class Sweet 16 but fell short, 30-27.
Rockmart quarterback Javin Whatley was named the region’s player of the year, while fellow senior Travis Brown took defensive player of the year honors.
Whatley announced his commitment to Tennessee-Chattanooga last Thursday as he answered the question of where he would spend his post-high school career.
Rockmart players named to the first-team all-region offense were athlete Keyshaun McCollough, wide receiver Dennis Sims and offensive linemen Tae Middlebrooks and Sherman Davis
McCullough and Davis were also named to the all-region first team defense, as well as linebacker Jai Penson, linebackers Daquan Banks and Terrion Webb, and defensive back Dedric Gibson.
Rockmart’s second-team members were Lanear McCrary, Jakari Clark, JyKel Baldwin, Hugo Rangel, Jose Alegria, and Kieron Roberts. Honorable Mentions were Jai Peinson, JoJo Haynes, and Zyan Middlebrooks.