Franklin Co. leads All-Division 7-3A

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2006

MEADVILLE – For Franklin County head football coach GradyMcCluskey and his senior leaders, Gary Rogers and Preston Griffith,winning the Class 3A State Championship was a great award. Now comethe rewards in the All-Region 7-3A Coaches.

McCluskey was named Coach of the Year, while Rogers was theoverwhelming choice as Region 7-3A MVP. Griffith was namedOffensive MVP. McCluskey’s staff of Tony Gibbs, Jeremy Loy, D.C.Tadlock, Brent Calcote, Rickey O’Quinn, and Charles Moore werenamed Coaching Staff Of The Year.

“It’s a great honor for a great season,” said McCluskey, aboutbeing named Region 7-3A Coach of the Year.

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Rogers, a 6-foot, 250-pound linebacker and a four- year starterfor the Bulldogs, racked up 150 tackles and picked off four passesen route to being named the region’s MVP. He also played tight endfor the Bulldogs.

“Gary deserves it,” said McCluskey. “He made some big plays forus this season.”

Griffith, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior running back rushed for1,550 yards this season, scoring 15 touchdowns. He also caught fourpasses for 50 yards.

“Preston has been a workhorse for us the last two years,” addsMcCluskey. “He helped us out a lot on offense and also played someat linebacker on defense.”

Franklin County finished the year 14-1, winning the Class 3AState Championship over Nettleton 23-13, three weeks ago inJackson.

“These honors are great for the whole program,” said McCluskey.”It was a total team effort this year.”

Bulldogs sophomore quarterback Jamie Collins also made theAll-Region team, along with seniors Mike Hunt, Cable McMinn,Brandon Collins, Greg Hunt, Andrew Williams, and Alvin Hunt. Juniordefensive tackles Josh Tillman and Bo Tillman also made thelist.

Honorable mention Bulldogs were Ryne Tutor, Jordan Hunt, AlexSmith, Kane Carlock, Jace Carlock, Robert Wilson, Sam Moore, andCarlos Johnson.

Making the team from North Pike were Justin Smith, KeironRobinson, Garrit Ratcliff, and Keith Turner.

Tylertown’s Mario Cotton was named Region 7-3A Defensive Playerof the Year. He was joined on the team by teammates Adam Fayard,Eddie Dillon, J.D. Ratliff, Cornelius Lee, Andy Gaudett, and DarrinStewart,

“This was a tough division this year,” said McCluskey. “Weplayed against a lot of good players and a lot of good teams.”

The Bulldogs went 6-0 in the division, beating Tylertown 14-12for the region title in late October and winning a thriller atSouth Pike 21-14.

“You don’t win without good people around you,” added McCluskey.”We’re proud of our accomplishments.”