COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton Rams had a successful campaign under first-year head coach Camiel Grant Jr., and he is proud of his team’s efforts this season, especially the 14 players that earned all-region honors.
The Rams had a dynamic group of players on both sides of the ball, but being in one of the most competitive regions in all of Georgia football makes these honors some of the toughest to earn in the state.
Staffs at the other s chools saw the talent at Newton and knew deemed them worthy of these 14 all-region selections.
Beginning with the first team, the Rams had three representatives, and they were wide receiver Robert Lewis, outside linebacker Tyon Bigby and junior cornerback Nyland Green. Green was the only Rams junior to make the first team, and Grant raved about his constant good energy.
“One of the biggest things about Nyland is his energy. I feel like that’s one thing that people don’t take enough notice of,” Grant said. “So when he’s in the room, the energy of the room is always high, and he brings that energy to practice, the weight room and the meeting room.”
Grant could not express how much the other two first-teamers, Bigby and Lewis, meant to this team and how they have really helped a lot with some of the younger guys on the team. He started off by complimenting the great four-year body of work that Lewis put together during his time at Newton.
“Robert is a guy who both of his brothers played for us at Newton, and his brothers were excellent football players, so for him to continue that legacy, I think that was something that was very important for him,” Grant said. “So from the day that he hit our campus, he was working extremely hard, and I don’t think people know enough about how good he was on defense and how he helped our defense and to me that speaks to his unselfishness and that set a great example for the younger guys.”
Grant continued on to compliment the leadership of Bigby, who, although he was not a very loud leader, he did an excellent job of leading by example.
“He’s set a standard and an example for the guys on the defensive line, that this is the way that you’re supposed to go about your work,” Grant said. “He went about his work every day with the same attitude and the same energy, and that was what was most impressive to me.”
After their first-team honorees, the Rams landed seven guys on the second team and four guys on the honorable mention list. Earning second-team honors were safety Josh Hardeman, inside linebacker Greg Lewis, outside linebacker Javari Smith, cornerback/wide receiver Diondre Glover Jr., running back Quincy Cullins, defensive end Malachi Arnett and defensive end Justin Benton.
Earning honorable mention honors was quarterback Neal Howard, defensive back Eugene Tavares, and cornerback Darius Green. Wide receiver Jerrol Hines also received some votes for the athlete of the year for the region.
Grant knows the seniors will be missed very much and tough to replace. However, he has some excellent talent returning and looks forward to building next season with his guys that will be coming back next season.
“This is a great class, and you can go up and down the list of this senior class, and all of them have brought something different and special to the table. It’s going to take a lot of work of filling the gaps that those guys are leaving,” Grant said. “We’re excited about what’s coming next. The cupboard is not bare by any stretch.”