Seven Newton High School football players were named to the 2-AAAAAA All-Region team and senior quarterback Romario Johnson was named Offensive Player of the Year. Junior defensive back Robert Black was the lone member of the All-Region team for Alcovy.
“I’m very, very proud of those who made it,” said Newton Coach Terrance Banks.
On offense and defense, the Rams have a representative at every level of play on the team, which comes to no surprise as Newton won the Region 2-AAAAAA Championship and finished with an 8-2 record.
Banks said that Johnson’s growth over the last three years is what helped him win the award.
“I think that’s been kind of three years in the making. I think with the coaches in the region respected Romario, the kind of guy he’s been the last two years and this year. His stats are not as high as they were last year, but the win total is up because he used all of his weapons,” Banks said. “Last year Deandre led the team with 47 catches, this year I think [Augustus] Murray led it with 31. We’ve got six guys who had more than 10 catches so it’s been spread around, he was definitely a field general when teams had a hard time stopping him I think that speaks volumes for being an offensive player.”
“You know what kind of kids that JJ and Kurt are. That speaks volumes about the future because they’re both juniors and of course Kurt was able to rush for 1,000 yards because of the play of our offensive line -- [Alex] Jacobs and [Dakori] West,” he added. “On the defensive side of the ball Deion Watson can absolutely dominate a game whenever he wants to and the same with Jaquan Henderson. He’s a very hard guy to stop especially when he’s coming off the edge and even in space. He’s athletic enough to cover receivers. Quentin Dixon is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached. What makes Quentin good is Quentin is not the biggest guy and kids overlook him, but he’s a football player. He has very high football IQ and you don’t find that always in high school.”
Offensive player of the year: Romario Johnson (senior), Newton
Defensive player of the year: Naythen Braynen (senior), Lovejoy
QB – Will Jernigan (junior), Lakeside.
RB – Zion Custis (sophomore), Lovejoy
RB – Kurt Taylor (junior), Newton.
OL – Gordon Lewis (junior), Lakeside.
OL – Dakori West (junior), Newton
OL – Alex Jacobs (senior), Newton
OL – Rahsaan Crawford (senior), Tucker
OL – Tavarus King (senior), Tucker
TE – Tabarius Peterson (senior), Tucker
WR – Malik Route (junior), Lovejoy
WR – Jeremiah Holloman (junior), Newton
K – Adam Lippy (junior), Tucker
DL – Quenton Hoskins (senior), Lovejoy
DL – Antonio Showers (sophomore), Tucker
DL – Deion Watson (junior), Newton
DL – Chris Henderson (senior), Lovejoy
LB – Jaquan Henderson (junior), Newton
LB – Keandre Gray (senior), Lovejoy
LB – Tabarius Peterson (senior), Tucker
DB – Marquese Taylor (junior), Lovejoy
DB – Jeremiah Shelley (senior), Tucker
DB – Quentin Dixon (senior), Newton
DB – Robert Black (junior), Alcovy
P – Damon Davis (sophomore), Lakeside, So.
Honorable mentions: RB Chris Broadwater, Tucker; TE Dante Johnson, Newton; WR Tajee Steele, Rockdale County; DL Darnell O’Neal, Alcovy; DL Damon Blount, Lakeside; DB Gerry Vaughn, Tucker; DB Terry Beckham, Tucker; DB Damarion Williams, Lovejoy, Jr.; DB Michael Malinovsky, Lakeside; P Joshua Vann, Tucker; PK Nick Munoz-Ramirez, Newton.