By Mike Brown
Bryan County’s Redskins are seeing three years of hard work under football coach Cherard Freeman begin to pay off as evidenced by 15 players being named All-Region 3A-DI by region coaches.
When Freeman took over the program the summer prior to the 2019 season the Redskins had not had a winning season since 2013 and had not made the state playoffs since 2015.
Bryan County broke both of those barriers this past season as it went 6-5 and finished third in the region standings to earn the coveted playoff spot. That success is reflected in the number of players earning post-season honors.
Junior defensive back Tanner Ennis, who was named an honorable mention all-state player by the AJC, led the way as he was the region’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Ennis has previously earned all-region honors in baseball and basketball as he has established himself as one of the state’s top all-around athletes in Class A.
Joining Ennis as first-team offensive selections were senior running back Konnor Leggett, junior tight end Kris Martin and junior offensive lineman Jett Lewis. Chosen on defense were senior lineman Terrell Singleton and junior defensive backs Sean Kelly Hill, Jacari Carney and Julian Gray.
“I’m proud of these guys and the way they have committed to us the last three years,” Freeman said. “It has been awesome to watch them grow and get better as players and young men which is way bigger than football.
“We are trying to build a football program but also trying to help build great young men who will grow up to be a great citizen, great father, great friend and great co-worker…teaching them how to be good people.”
Second-team selections were quarterback Trevor Lanier, running back Erin Greene and offensive lineman Allen Williams on offense. Defensive selections were linemen Luke Holcombe and Jon Good along with defensive backs Anddreas McKinney and Carson Nunn.
A starter as a freshman Ennis missed two games due to injury but still led the team in tackles with 98 including 1.5 sacks. He also saw spot duty on offense as he caught one pass for 39 yards and a touchdown and one rushing attempt for 38 yards.
Leggett, who did not start playing football until his junior year, was perhaps the team’s most valuable player as he excelled on both sides of the ball. Like Ennis he is also an excellent athlete as evidenced by his being the region player of the year in baseball the past two years.
When then leading rusher Austin Clemons went out with a season-ending injury in the fourth game of the season Leggett stepped into the breech seldom missing a snap as he continued to excel at cornerback while taking on a heavier offensive load.
Leggett led the Redskins in rushing with 523 yards and in total yards as he had another 34 receiving and 92 on kick returns. He also had 82 tackles.
Player of The Year honors went to senior Metter quarterback Trey Hall, offensive POY was senior quarterback Jake Pollock of Screven County and senior linebacker Ethan Oglesby of Metter shared defensive POY with Ennis.
Metter won its fourth straight region championship but in the process lost Coach Rodney Garvin to Vidalia. Garvin was 52-12 in four seasons with the Tigers. At Vidalia he replaces Jason Cameron who resigned after going 16-15 in three seasons.