2012 All-Eastern Region Team

"Verdana","sans-serif"'> presents its annual All-Eastern
Region Football Teams for 2012. There
were numerous difficult choices to make, and many deserving, qualified
candidates failed to get named First or Second Team.
style=> However, there were far more that did belong
in the discussion to make it than ones that didn't.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Well represented on both the First and Second Teams
were members from the Eastern Region Champion Lake Taylor Titans and Ocean
Lakes Dolphins. Lake Taylor got five
players on First Team, followed closely by Ocean Lakes' four players named on
the First Team. A total of 15 different
schools got players named to the First Team.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A quick review of how the team is selected.
style=> We name one quarterback, two running backs, a
pair of receivers, a tight end, five offensive linemen and an athlete that can
be any position. For defense, it's four
linemen, four linebackers, three defensive backs, and an athlete from any
position. On special teams, we go with a
kicker, punter and two return men (sorry
long snappers). And of course, a
Head Coach from Division 5 and Division 6.
Also, it is worth pointing out that no player can make it on both sides
of the ball on this squad or multiple positions, so once you are picked at a
certain position you can't make it at another.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Enough explaining things, let's analyze the squad from
2012, making up the best of the best in Tidewater football
style=> . . .



Region Offense:

- - Delmon Williams, Lake Taylor (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Quarterback play has not always been a strong suit for
Lake Taylor, a team that pushed through to the State Playoffs for the first
time in 30 years with their junior signal caller Williams serving as an
indispensable part of their high-scoring attack.
style=> Through 14 games, Williams has thrown for
1797 yards and a school-record 33 touchdown passes with only three
interceptions, his first not coming until game #12 in the regional
semifinals. Efficient he has been as
well, completing 59% of his passes on the year.

and Offensive Player of the Year - - Josh Marriner,
Western Branch (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It's hard to top what Marriner
did this season for the Bruins as they made the playoffs for the first time
since 2008 and notched their first postseason victory in five years.
style=> The Southeastern District Offensive Player of
the Year flourished, rushing for a school-record 2168 yards on 253 carries and
26 touchdowns, proving to be the ultimate workhorse.
style=> Committed to play his College Football at
UCONN, Marriner rushed for 417 yards against Great
Bridge, the most by an Eastern Region player in a game in 18 years.
style=> Nine times this year, Marriner
went over 150 yards rushing in 12 contests; quite an accomplishment.

- - Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore, Lake Taylor (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Named the Eastern District Offensive Player of the
Year, Moore put together a memorable senior season for a Titans team that goes
into Saturday's state title game with a record of 14-0 overall.
style=> On 212 carries, Pork Chop has rushed for 1799
yards and 24 touchdowns, and most impressively he has done all of that while
playing a significant role on defense splitting touches on offense with
class=SpellE>Daquan Davis, a fellow 1000-yard rusher.
style=> To top it all off, Moore has caught 11 passes
out of the backfield for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

- - Andre Dessenberg, Ocean Lakes (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Delaware commit really had his breakout season in
2012, hauling in 77 balls for 1155 yards and 22 touchdowns in helping lead the
Dolphins to the State Championship game.
Dessenberg, an All-Beach District First Team
selection who began as a quarterback in the Dolphins' program, tied Charlie
Carr's single-game Beach District for touchdown catches in a game with five, a
record that was 49 years old. His 22
touchdown grabs also are there off the VHSL single-season record and tied the
Beach record set by Landstown's Damon McDaniel in

- - Melvin Vaughn, Oscar Smith (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A physical specimen that starred on both offense and
defense for the Tigers, being tabbed First Team All-Southeastern District
following an All-State junior campaign, Vaughn overwhelmed opponents throughout
2012. He did so in a variety of ways,
too. In the regional semifinals, a 34-28
triumph over Salem, he showed his unique skills and versatility with four total
touchdowns, three rushing, plus recorded 10 tackles from his linebacker
position. For the year, Vaughn grabbed
57 passes for 856 yards and nine touchdowns.

- - Jalyn Holmes, Lake Taylor (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>One of the top rated juniors on the East Coast, Holmes
gets it done on both sides of the ball for the Titans.
style=> An All-Eastern District First Team selection
at tight end, Holmes has 22 catches for 325 yards and seven touchdowns, none
bigger than his game-winner as time expired to beat Granby, giving Lake Taylor
another league crown and home-field advantage throughout the regional
playoffs. On defense, Holmes has made 74
tackles, 40 stops for loss and 11 sacks going into the state title match
against Stone Bridge.

- - Alex Skidmore, Ocean Lakes (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For Ocean Lakes to be as prolific as they have been
this year, averaging 41.4 points per game in claiming district and regional
titles, Skidmore is one of the unsung heroes for the group at left tackle.
style=> Not only does he protect the quarterback's
blindside, but the Duke commit wins his one-on-one matchups more times than
not, doing so enough to at least earn First Team All-Beach District honors and
receive praise from numerous coaches throughout the area.

- - Shedrick Oliver, Oscar Smith (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It was extremely hard to believe that the Tigers won
the State Championship in 2011 without a single player on their offensive line
being chosen First Team All-Southeastern District, but that changed this year
with Oliver, one of the team's top returnees who lead the team in the trenches.
style=> With Oliver paving the way at tackle, the
Tigers won their ninth straight Southeastern District crown and made it back to
the regional title game , averaging 39 points and
355.1 total yards per game.

- - Cliff Arrington, Lake Taylor (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Going into the State Championship game, Lake Taylor is
averaging 45.3 points and 260.9 rushing yards per game, tops in the Eastern
Region. The Titans haven't scored fewer
than 21 points in any contest, and their offensive line has been mighty strong
with Arrington, a returning starter and anchor at center, helping them control
the line of scrimmage. Arrington was a
First Team All-Eastern District pick by the coaches, doing his job for the
Titans to produce a pair of 1000-yard rushers and help QB Delmon
Williams set a school-record for passing yards and touchdown passes.

- - Tyreek Bailey, Phoebus (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Year after year, the Phoebus Phantoms produce one of
the region's and state's top rushing attacks, and it's
not by accident. The program has a
powerful running back, which they did once again in Tony Pittman, who led all
Peninsula District players in rushing yards per game, and their massive
offensive linemen open up gaping holes.
Bailey did just that at center, where he was named All-Peninsula
District First Team and the Phantoms wrapped up an undefeated regular season,
their fifth in six years.

- - Connor Kearney, Ocean Lakes (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A steady run blocker and pass protector for the Eastern
Region Champion Dolphins, Kearney has been one of the pillars up front from the
right guard position. The All-Beach
District First Team selection deserves quite a bit of credit for paving the way
for an explosive offense that this year has put up over 2500 yards on the
ground and over 2800 yards passing, not missing a beat even when their starting
quarterback went down due to injury.

- - Deon Newsome, Hampton (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A versatile athlete committed to play his College
Football in the ACC for the Virginia Tech Hokies,
Newsome was the catalyst for a Hampton offense that piled up 35.8 points per
game nearly 364 total yards a contest.
Showing toughness he did, playing with a dislocated knee in the regular
season finale against Phoebus. Newsome
ended up with 1027 yards and 15 touchdowns passing, and 1141 yards and 13 touchdowns
rushing on 147 attempts for the Crabbers, who made it to the regional
semifinals and closed with a record of 9-3 overall.

All-Eastern Region Defense:

and Defensive Player of the Year - - Derrick Nnadi,
Ocean Lakes (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Words like dominating, enforcer and beast come to mind
when thinking about Nnadi, a junior playing alongside
another BCS-level talent in Demetri McGill (Maryland
commit) on the defensive line for Ocean Lakes.
Nnadi didn't just come from under McGill's shadow;
he's often been the best player on the field for either team in most every game
Ocean Lakes has played this season, recording 118 total tackles, 22 for loss
and 11 sacks. In the Eastern Region
Championship game alone, he recorded 13 tackles, four stops for loss and two
sacks, propelling the Dolphins to the State Playoffs for the first time in
school history.

- - Ricky Walker, Bethel (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>One of the top defensive linemen from the Class of 2014
with a host of offers on the table, Walker continued the family legacy at
Bethel, following successfully in the footsteps of his older brother
class=SpellE>Rijo, who now starts in the secondary at the University of
Virginia. Ricky was quite an
instrumental player for the Bruins in the trenches, posting 75 tackles, 15
tackles for loss, 11 sacks and forcing three fumbles to lead the team back to
the regional playoffs. His play was so
good that Walker was chosen the Peninsula District Defensive Player of the
Year, a rare feat for an 11th grader.

- - Darren Flowers, Oscar Smith (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Going into the 2012 campaign, there were more decorated
Oscar Smith defensive linemen in Andrew Brown, a five-star prospect from the
Class of 2014, and Kanyia Anderson, an Old Dominion
commit who set the school single-season sack record a year ago.
style=> Flowers made a name for himself
with a non-stop motor, registering 95 tackles, 12 for loss, 14 sacks and five
pass deflections as the Tigers won yet another Southeastern District
title. His superb play earned him
All-Southeastern District First Team recognition as well.

- - Brandon Lynch, Lake Taylor (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>One of the forces off the edge for a Titans defense
that is one of the best around, allowing the second fewest points per game in
the region, Lynch earned All-Eastern District First Team honors for constantly
being disruptive. Through the State
Semis, Lynch has made 80 total tackles, 37 of them for loss and has 19
sacks. He leads the team in all three
categories, taking his play up another notch when they've needed it most.

- - Andrew Motu'apuaka, Salem (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For a Salem defense that held every foe they faced this
year to under 300 total yards and five of them to below 100 yards,
class=SpellE>Motu'apuaka one of the main reasons why it tough to move
the ball on the SunDevils.
style=> The Virginia Tech commit was fierce and
aggressive all year long, racking up 143 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 12 sacks
and three interceptions while carrying the ball 10 times for 60 yards and three
touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball.
His swagger and intensity symbolized the Salem defense and earned him
All-Beach District First Team honors once again.

- - Caleb Wilson, Granby (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Nicknamed the 'Honey Badger,' for the Comets, Wilson
made it possible for Granby to enjoy its best year since their 1966 State
Championship season. Not only did he
rush for three touchdowns on district rival Lake Taylor, the only player to do
so against the Eastern Region Champs, but he flew to the ball and played with
reckless abandon the entire year from his linebacker position.
style=> Wilson was a First Team All-Eastern District
selection who ended up with 85 total tackles, 19 stops for loss, five pass
breakups and four interceptions.

- - Daunte Wilson, Hampton (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The younger brother of former Crabbers standout and
Virginia Tech Hokie Tyrel
Wilson, Daunte carved out a niche for himself this
season, playing an integral role on offense at center as well as defensively
from both the linebacker and defensive line positions.
style=> His best work came at linebacker, earning
All-Peninsula District First Team honors in leading a Hampton defense that
pitched five straight shutouts late in the regular season.
style=> One of his best performances came in a
non-district win over Norcom when he notched two

- - Marcus Mitchell, Grassfield (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With only one scholarship offer on the table entering
the year from Division II Brevard College, Mitchell wasn't on the recruiting
radar for too many schools, but by season's end, nobody could question the
effort he gave. Mitchell got chosen
All-Southeastern District First Team, finishing with 92 total tackles and 43
solo stops, second most in Grizzlies history.
He also had 13.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and two
interceptions to help Grassfield make it back to the
playoffs for the fifth year in a row.

- - Quin Blanding, Bayside (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Few players put forth as many impressive individual
performances as Blanding, a five-star prospect from the Class of 2014 who
excelled on both sides of the ball in being chosen First Team All-District at
wide receiver and Beach District Defensive Player of the Year for his
outstanding play at safety. To go with
leading the region in receiving yards during the regular season, Blanding had
111 tackles, five interceptions, three blocked kicks, two fumble recoveries and
a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Blanding has 15 career interceptions, plus 97 catches for 1715 yards and
15TD's over the last two years.

- - Charles Clark, King's Fork (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Committed to play his College Football in the ACC at
Virginia Tech, Clark could've mailed it in this year, but that wasn't an option
for him because he wanted to guide the Bulldogs to the playoffs for the first
time in its history. That he did,
winning Southeastern District Defensive Player of the Year honors for the
second consecutive season. Clark
finished up with 57 tackles, four interceptions, three touchdowns on
interception returns and a forced fumble while playing extensively on offense.

- - Vincent Lowe, Grassfield (JR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Part of a ball-hawking Grassfield
secondary with Paris Smith, Isaiah Harper and Tyler McKenzie, Lowe was tabbed
First Team All-Southeastern District by the coaches for his top-notch speed and
coverage skills. Besides his two
interceptions and three fumbles recoveries, Lowe made his presence felt by
scoring a defensive touchdown in three consecutive victories, which were all
class=SpellE>Grassfield wins over the likes of Indian River, Hickory and
Western Branch that helped return them to the postseason.

- - Antonio Jefferson, Lakeland (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>One of the region's best all-around athletes, Jefferson
was a driving factor for the Cavaliers in the team winning its first playoff
game as a Group AAA school. The
All-Southeastern District First Team choice electrified the Cavs' offense with
54 receptions for 817 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus ran for 338 yards and three
touchdowns. But it was at defensive back
where he might've energized Lakeland the most, recording 75 tackles and a
district-high eight interceptions.

All-Eastern Region Specialists:

- - Tucker Hague, First Colonial (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After a slow 1-3 start to the season in which they
failed to notch a victory in regulation, things were looking mighty bleak for
First Colonial. The Patriots turned
things around by winning four of their final six games to close the year at
.500. A First Team All-Beach pick, Hague
was a key reason for the turnaround, averaging roughly 45 yards per punt and
pinning more punts inside the five-yard line than any other player in the
Eastern Region over the past two seasons.

- - David Morrison, Cox (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Continuing the Falcons' tradition of producing stellar
kickers, Morrison made 6 of 7 field goal tries and all but one of his 25 extra
point attempts for a Cox team that finished 7-3 overall, juts barely missing
the postseason. In fact, the First Team
All-Beach District selection has made 12 field goals over the past two seasons,
second only behind UVA's Drew Jarrett in school history.

- - Taquan 'Smoke' Mizzell,
Bayside (SR)

was dynamic enough to make First Team All-Region at two other positions,
running back of offensive athlete.
Return man isn't a bad spot either as he not only took kicks back to the
house and tilted field position in several games, but his presence alone had teams
kicking away from him, even out of bounds sometimes.
style=> The five-star prospect committed to UVA capped
his career with 3804 rushing yards, 76 total touchdowns with 194 rushes for 1231
yards and 31 total scores (23 rushing TD's) as a senior.

- - Richie Staton, Phoebus (SR)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Transferring to the Phantoms from Kecoughtan,
Staton did yeoman's work in all three phases of the
game with 14 total touchdowns five different ways.
style=> That included three kickoff return scores and
a pair of punt return scores for the All-Peninsula District First Team
selection, who sealed the regular season finale win over Hampton with a pick
six. Committed to ODU,
class=SpellE>Staton also scored 7TD's receiving.

All-Eastern Region Coaches:

Five - - Hank Sawyer, Lake Taylor

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After going 0-5 against Phoebus in the playoffs from
2012-11, Sawyer and his Titans broke through with a 54-0 thumping of the
reigning four-time State Champions in the Eastern Region Championship, the
school's first since 1982. Lake Taylor
is playing in the State Championship and trying to become the first Norfolk
school to win the hardware since 1966.
Sawyer's team has won all 14 of its games so far with 12 of them by a
minimum of 20 points.

Six - - Chris Scott, Ocean Lakes

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Dolphins were predicted to finish third in the
Beach District before the season. Ocean
Lakes has been eliminated in the quarterfinals of the playoffs each of the two
previous years, and few could've envisioned the type of season they have had in
winning the regional title for the first time in school history.
style=> Scott's Ocean Lakes team made it to the State
Championship, despite seeing their starting quarterback, Corwin Cutler, go down
to a season-ending ACL injury in the quarterfinals.

All-Eastern Region Second Team:

- - Corwin Cutler, Ocean Lakes (SR)
RB - - Tony Pittman, Phoebus (SR)
RB - - Khalid Abdullah, Heritage (SR)
WR - - Harry Freeman, Lake Taylor (SR)
WR - - Kwamane Bowens, Salem (SR)
TE - - Nick Edwards, Kellam (SR)
OL - - Gabe Hollins, Cox (SR)
OL - - Troy Garrett, Hampton (SR)
OL - - Justice Gilbert, Lake Taylor (JR)
OL - - Tracey Parker, Nansemond River (JR)
OL - - Chris Hancock, Western Branch (SR)
ATH - - Bucky Hodges, Salem (SR)

- - Demetri McGill, Ocean Lakes (SR)
DL - - Rainney Thompson, Salem (SR)
DL - - Tashad Charity, Granby (SR)
DL - - Mark Wilson, Phoebus (SR)
LB - - Jamel Spellman, Lake Taylor (SR)
LB - - Myke Knox, Ocean Lakes (SR)
LB - - Atavius Matthews, Phoebus (SR)
LB - - Jaquan Yulee, Lakeland (FR)
DB - - De'Quan Edwards, Green Run (SR)
DB - - Nicholas Clark, Bethel (SR)
DB - - Daquin Moore, Hampton (SR)
ATH - - Donovan Powell, Lake Taylor (SR)

- - Aaron Speziale, Great Bridge (JR
K - - Dillon Christopher, Menchville (SR)
RET - - Davion Taylor, Maury (JR)
RET - - Traquan Martin, Norcom

Coach - - Joe Jones, King's Fork
D6 Coach - - Curt Brown, Granby



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
has covered Eastern Region Football since 2005 for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
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and you can also read his work in the
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on
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