All-Sevier County football 2012:
Every Christmas The Mountain Press lists our All-Sevier County foot- ball team, and every year it seems to get a little tougher.
Choosing the players for the first- and second-teams isn’t the most difficult part of the process though. After all, we watch the games and have coach’s nominations to fall back on.
The most time-consuming part — aside from the actual page layout — is deciding who should be chosen as the county’s superlatives, Most Valuable Player, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year and Coach of the Year.
There’s always some argument about who should receive which honor as well as which players and should be considered.
All of the selections were challenging this year, so I’ll explain some of the thought process for each choice.
Coach of the year
If you went by wins alone, this would be the third year out of four that Sevier County coach Steve Brewer would have earned Coach of the Year.
But what Benny Hammonds did this season at Gatlinburg-Pittman, with just 31 players on the roster older than 9th graders, was pretty astounding.
The Highlanders went 7-5 against their toughest schedule in recent memory.
That record, which included victories over conference rivals Gibbs,
Carter and Pigeon Forge, helped G-P to a second- place finish in 3-AA and a first-round playoff win over Chuckey-Doak.
Not bad considering the team lost to both PF and Carter and missed the play- offs just a year ago.
Perhaps the Sevier County Bears’ successes in dominating the IMAC Conference (2-AAA) have created a built-in expectation of excellence with the SCHS program that makes it tougher for coach Brewer to earn such awards.
He’ll definitely have the chance next year, however, when his team steps up their non-conference slate with the addition of Maryville and Bearden.
Most Valuable Player
This was another con- tentious honor, as several players had worthy 2012 campaigns.
The thing that stood out about Logan McCarter was this — of 12 games played by the Smoky Bears, McCarter scored a touchdown in every contest the Purple and White played except one (a 49-0 drub- bing of Morristown East).
He scored through the passing game — catching 13 touchdowns. He scored in the run game, taking a reverse 15 yards for a TD against Morristown West. He scored in the return game taking back two punts (and having several more called back). And finally, he scored on defense with a 66-yard interception return against
Seymour. McCarter, a two-time all-state selection, was a player other teams had to plan and scheme for. And he still put up huge numbers.
Dillon Cate, Luke Manning and G-P’s Michael Muszik were also considered here.
Offensive Player of the Year
In my time here, Michael Muszik is the second sophomore running back to be honored with the award (Chase Travis, PF, 2009).
Like McCarter, Muszick had great numbers — 1,367 yards and 19 touchdowns.
With two years left in his G-P career, Muszick and the Highlanders could go a long way.
Defensive Player of the Year
Dexter Robbins was a huge difference-maker for the Sevier County Bears defense this past season.
Always flying around the ball, Robbins led the county and District 2-AAA in tack- les with 121 stops. Throw in 16 tackles for loss, three sacks, one caused fumble, a pair of fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown and Robbins was a sure-thing.