Eley, Jackson, Weathersby top All-Area Dream Team
Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2001
MCCOMB – Thomas Jackson was one of 16 seniors playing for CoachLee Bramlett and the McComb Tigers this season.
Jackson and the Tigers realized a dream come true on Saturdaynight, Dec. 2, when McComb shut out Clarksdale 14-0 for the StateClass 4A Football Championship in Veterans Memorial Stadium inJackson.
McComb finished the season with a 13-1 record. Jackson, whostands 5-foot-7 and weighs a muscular 195 pounds, led the Tigerrunning game with 168 carries for 851 yards and 16 touchdownsduring the 2000 campaign. He also was a leader on defense from hisnose guad position.
For his accomplishments, Jackson has been selected The DailyLeader’s Player of the Year on the 2000 All-Area FootballTeam.
McComb head coach Lee Bramlett was selected as The DailyLeader’s Area Coach of the Year.
Carlus Weathersby of McComb was named the Most ValuableDefensive Player of the Year and Jonathan Eley of Lawrence Countywas selected as the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year. Theteam, selected by Daily Leader sports staff members, with imputfrom area coaches, includes players outside LincolnCounty.
Joining Jackson and Eley in the offensive backfield isrunning back Barry Crockett of Amite County. The quarterback isDamien Givens of McComb. At wide receiver is Marcus Corley ofWesson. At tight end is Gary Turner of McComb.
The offensive line includes Curtis May and Broderick Deer ofMcComb, Cornelius Stallings of South Pike, Mike Smith of LawrenceCounty and Greg Williams of Franklin County.
The placekicker is Nick Gunter of Wesson and the returnspecialist is Shirmon McNair of Franklin County.
Directing the defensive line are Joe Barnes of South Pike,Jahard Faust of Franklin County, Robert Bishop of Wesson and PatKing of Hazlehurst.
Linebackers include Todd Johnson of Lawrence County, JamesHunt of Franklin County, Billy Ray Miller of Wesson and CliftonWiley of Hazlehurst.
Joining Weathersby in the defensive secondary are WalterAnderson of Franklin County and Patrick Andrews of SouthPike.
J.T. Alexander of North Pike is the team’s punter.
“It was good for the school and the community,” said Jacksonof winning the state title. “We showed them we can play football.We played as a family and as friends. To be honest, I never thoughtI would experience it (winning a state championship).”
Jackson was also named the Most Valuable Player of theDivision 6-4A.
“He (Jackson) has been a great football player,” statedBramlett. “He has done a good job. He played both ways. He’s realquick and real strong. He loves the game of football.”
Jonathan Eley, a 6-2,205-pound junior, rushed the football 97 times for 1,550 yards and20 touchdowns for 6-4 Lawrence County.
“We really took a chance on him,” said Lawrence County headcoach Danny Adams. “He wasn’t much of a contributor as a sophomore.He was hurt a lot. We felt like he had a lot of talent. “He workedhard in the off season,” said Adams “We thought he deserved achance at fullback. He stepped in at fullback and kept us going. Hefilled some big shoes. He always ran the ball hard and got somegood yards for us.”
“This was really his first year of varsity experience,”added Adams. “He’s a good kid, worked hard and never missed apractice. The year in the weight room really helped him. He becamea lot more durable.”
Weathersby (6-0, 185, sr.) wasproud of what the Tigers accomplished and he believed that theteam’s willingness to work as a unit helped.
“We had to play as a team,” he said. “That is whatmade us so good.” He intercepted six passes. He cause 19 passes for276 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Weathersby was named Co-Most Valuable DefensivePlayer on the All-Division 6-4A team with Terry’s BobbyKendrick.
“Carlus has good hands,” said Bramlett. “He goes tothe ball real well. He has good agility. He has size for adefensive back.”
Barry Crockett (5-10, 195) was the top running backhis senior year for 4-7 Amite County. Crockett, named Division 6-3AMost Valuable Offensive Player, rushed the football 130 times for1,237 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Damien Givens (6-2, 175) was the senior quarterbackfor McComb. Givens completed 51 of 153 passes for 863 yards andnine touchdowns.
Marcus Corley (5-7, 145) finished out his senioryear with Ronald Greer’s 6-5 Wesson Cobras as a wingback andcornerback. At wingback, he rushed 71 times for 572 yards andscored four touchdowns. Playing cornerback, he made 46 tackles andintercepted three passes and was named to the All-Division 6-2Ateam.
Curtis May (6-2, 254) finished his season withMcComb as an offensive lineman. He was named to the All-Division6-4A team.
Broderick Deer (6-0, 270) proved to be one of thebiggest lineman during his senior year at McComb. Deer was alsonamed to the Division 6-4A team.
Cornelius Stallings (6-4, 310) played offensive anddefensive lineman his senior year at 6-4 SouthPike.
Mike Smith (5-10, 220) finished up his senior seasonat Lawrence County as a starting offensive lineman. He was a 3-yearstarter.
Nick Gunter (5-8, 125) is the youngest player on theteam as a freshman. Gunter is the kicker for Wesson and helped theCobras pull out a division win in four overtimes because of hisfield goals and extra points.
Shirmon McNair (5-9, 165) was a senior running backfor Franklin County. McNair carried 137 times for 690 yards and sixtouchdowns.
Joe Barnes (6-1, 235) wrapped up his senior yearwith South Pike as a defensive tackle.
Jahard Faust (6-3, 280) made 40 tackles andrecovered two fumbles as a senior playing defensive tackle forFranklin County.
Robert Bishop (6-0, 265) played his junior year withWesson as a lineman and provided a lot of the opening for thebacks. Bishop was named to the All-Division 6-2Ateam.
Pat King (5-10, 260) was a senior defensive linemanfor Hazlehurst. King was named to the All-Division 6-3Ateam.
Todd Johnson (6-2, 185) played linebacker his senioryear with Lawrence County.
James Hunt (6-1, 190) recorded 108 tackles as ajunior linebacker for Franklin County. Hunt was also named to theAll-Division 6-3A team.
Billy Ray Miller (6-1, 185) played both linebackerand fullback for Wesson. As a junior, he had 127 tackles, recoveredtwo fumbles and recorded two sacks. He also rushed 74 times for 455yards and scored three touchdowns.
Walter Anderson (5-11, 165) was a linebacker fromFranklin County. He made 42 tackles, intercepted one pass andrecovered one fumble.
J.T. Alexander (5-10, 170) was the senior puinterfor North Pike. Alexander held a 41.1 punting average during theseason.
Amite County – Bobby Torrance
Crystal Springs – Lonnie Roberson, Jason Osborne,Marcus Monger
Franklin County – Cole Zumbro, Wesley Hickingbottom,Wade Woodcock, Brandon Touchstone
Jefferson County – Travaris Hughes, Larry Douglas
Hazlehurst – Lemoine Robinson, Fred Fair, DamienGary.
Lawrence County – Jerry Smith, Justin Wilson, JeremyGraves.
McComb – George Lewis, Marcus Gatlin, Tim Chester,Keith Sibley, Charles Pittman
North Pike – Zac Young.
Parklane – Mitchell Paine, JeremyFreeman
South Pike – John Lowery, Patrick Andrews, ReginaldLumpkin
Wesson – Chris Thornton, RussellRobinson