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Nunnery receives All-Area MVP honors, first and second teams announced

Despite missing the last three games of his senior year, Lawrence County quarterback Charl’Tez Nunnery put up some impressive stats while powering the Cougar offense. His play-making abilities and leadership on the field has earned him the honor of being named The Daily Leader All-Area Offensive MVP.

Nunnery was a threat through the air and on the ground at quarterback. The senior completed 91-173 passes for 1,458 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. Nunnery was the main threat through the running game as well with senior running back Quitten Brown only playing six games due to injury. Nunnery ran for 938 yards on 144 carries on the season with nine touchdowns to add on.

“He’s a great kid. He’s worked hard on and off the field to get to this point,” Lawrence County head coach Jaymie Palmer said. “It was a rough season for us and we’ve had a lot of injuries along the way, but this is a great achievement for Charl’Tez.”

After finishing the 2015 season 13-2, Lawrence County had a disappointing season in 2016, finishing the season 4-8 and losing Nunnery for the last three games, including their 28-15 loss in the 4A state playoff game against Quitman. Brown missed the first six games of the season due to an injury, which meant more of the load on offense was put on the shoulders of Nunnery.

“We’re primarily known as a running school with a strong running game. We relied on Charl’Tez more in the passing game and with his legs when Quitten went down,” Palmer said. “It was a completely different look for our offense and he really kept us afloat through the season.”

The tandem of Nunnery and Brown played together for a total of one quarter, the first quarter of the Richland game. Nunnery got hit late in the first quarter and broke his elbow on his throwing arm and missed the rest of the game and the next two games. Lawrence County would win that game 62-13, but finished the rest of the season 0-2, including the loss in the playoffs to Quitman. Just in the first quarter alone, Nunnery had 134 passing yards, 167 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

“That was a tough moment for us because I know how hard Charl’Tez worked,” Palmer said. “We have a lot of young guys and a lot of sophomores who will step up and bring us back next season.”

Nunnery was a highlight reel every time he stepped on the field for Lawrence County. The biggest highlight came in their first win of the season against Franklin County. Starting the season 0-4, Nunnery exploded on the scene, going 7-17 passing for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight came on the ground, as Nunnery ran wild for 231 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns, leading the Cougars to the 34-28 victory.

The work ethic Nunnery showed gearing up for the 2016 season showed on the football field.

“He worked extremely hard on the practice field and in the weight room and it showed on the football field for us,” Palmer said of Nunnery. “He really is a great kid and he’s such a talented player. He’s done so many great things for our football team during his time here.”

The All-Area Offensive Team is made up of players within the newspaper’s coverage area that are nominated by the seven head coaches in the area. With seven schools in the area, the team has been formatted to First Team selections, Second Team selections and honorable mentions. The All-Area Defensive Team and Coach of the Year will be revealed next Sunday.

Receiving honors at quarterback on the first team is the offensive MVP Charl’Tez Nunnery of Lawrence County and Peyton Burns of Wesson.

In the backfield at running back for the All-Area team are Damarrell Leggett and Kenneth Dixon of Brookhaven, and Parker Flowers of Loyd Star.

The wide receivers include Marcus Atterberry of Lawrence County, Will Hulon of Wesson and James Beard of Loyd Star.

The big boys up front on the offensive line include Trace Clopton, Coker Wright and Ben Springfield of Brookhaven, Matthew Craft of Wesson and Corbin Lewis of Lawrence County.

Tyler Mixon of Brookhaven was selected as the place kicker on the First Team.

Dell Thigpen from Wesson was selected for the all-purpose spot on the First Team.

The quarterbacks selected for the All-Area Second Team include Sevante Quinn of Brookhaven and Madison Smith of Brookhaven Academy.

Running backs for the Second Team include Quitten Brown of Lawrence County, Zac Arnold of Loyd Star and Tanner Waldrop of Enterprise.

Wide receivers include A.J. McLaurin of Lawrence County, Dee Dillon of Bogue Chitto and Fisher Warren of Brookhaven Academy.

In the trenches of the offensive line are Cole Smith of Loyd Star, Charlie Parrett of Loyd Star, Devon Kirtfield of Enterprise, Noah Diamond of Enterprise and Kale Jordan of Enterprise.

Second Team place kicker is Gage White of Lawrence County. Zach Hodges of Enterprise earned the all-purpose honors.

FIRST TEAM

Charl’tez Nunnery

(5-11, 165, sr.)

For the 10 games he played in Nunnery sparked the Cougar offense, passing for 1,458 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was an even bigger threat on the ground, rushing for 938 yards and nine touchdowns.

Peyton Burns

(5-10, 165, sr.)

Burns led a lethal aerial attack for the Cobras, passing for 1,662 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Burns also ran for 62 yards and five touchdowns.

Damarrell Leggett

(6-1, 185, jr.)

Leggett was one of two 1,000-yard rushers for the Panthers this season, as Leggett finished with 1,185 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. Leggett averaged 108 yards per game rushing and 7.1 yards per carry.

Kenneth Dixon

(5-11, 181, sr.)

Dixon helped a lethal ground attack for Brookhaven along with Leggett. The senior ran for 1,043 yards on the season with seven touchdowns. Dixon averaged 87 yards per game 7.1 yards per carry.

Parker Flowers

(6-1, 190, sr.)

Flowers was the focal point of the Loyd Star offense as the main passing and running threat. Flowers dominated on the ground with 920 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Flowers also passed for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Marcus Atterberry

(6-1, 225, sr.)

Atterberry was the main receiving threat for Lawrence County this season, even at tight end. Atterberry finished the season with 37 catches for 521 yards and five touchdowns. For his efforts, Atterberry was voted to second team all state at his position.

Will Hulon (5-10, 190, sr.)

The senior was the main recipient of the aerial attack for Wesson this season. Hulon finished the season with 47 catches for 858 yards and nine touchdowns. Hulon averaged 18.3 yards per catch.

James Beard

(5-11, 150, soph.)

The sophomore followed up his freshman season with an outstanding year, finishing with 27 catches for 719 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beard averaged 26.6 yards per catch.

Trace Clopton (6-2, 287, jr.)

Clopton was the anchor of the offensive line for Brookhaven. He led the team in pancake blocks with 42 for the season and started every game for the Panthers.

Coker Wright

(6-4, 250, soph.)

Wright was a young star on the offensive line for Brookhaven. He started 10 games for the Panthers.

Ben Springfield

(6-2, 250, jr.)

Springfield handled the duties at center for Brookhaven, starting every game on the offensive line.

Matthew Craft (sr.)

Wesson head coach Jeremy Loy said Craft was the best offensive lineman on the team and has been solid for the team all season.

Corbin Lewis (6-7, 285, sr.)

Lewis was the anchor of the Lawrence County offensive line all season.

Tyler Mixon (5-7, 145, jr.)

Mixon made 20 of 22 PAT attempts and was 7-9 on field goal attempts on the season. His longest field goal was from 37 yards out.

Dell Thigpen (5-8. 175, jr.)

Thigpen did it all for Wesson, meeting the definition of all-purpose. Thigpen finished the season with 89 carries for 600 yards and seven touchdowns. Thigpen also had 30 catches for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He racked up 1,196 all-purpose yards.

SECOND TEAM

Sevante Quinn

(5-9, 145, soph.)

Quinn only played six games this season due to injury, but finished with 788 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. Quinn also had 407 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

Madison Smith

(6-1, 205, sr.)

Smith finished the season 819 passing yards and 3 touchdowns for Brookhaven Academy. Smith also finished with 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Quitten Brown

(5-8, 195, sr.)

Last year’s offensive MVP had another strong campaign, despite only playing in six games. Brown racked up 852 yards rushing on 117 carries and 11 touchdowns. Brown eight catches for 63 yards and one touchdown catch as well.

Zac Arnold (5-8, 180, sr.)

Arnold was another feature in a heavy ground game for Loyd Star. Arnold had 92 carries for 639 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Arnold averaged 6.9 yards per carry.

Tanner Waldrop

(5-9, 185, jr.)

Waldrop finished the season with 43 carries for 547 yards and five touchdowns. The junior also had six catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

AJ McLaurin (6, 190, sr.)

As the main wide receiver of the Lawrence County offense, the senior racked up good numbers with 16 catches for 386 yards and six touchdowns.

Dee Dillon (sr.)

The senior wide receiver did it all for Bogue Chitto. Dillon finished with 22 catches for 393 yards and three touchdowns for the Bobcats.

Fisher Warren (6-1, 170, sr.)

As the main wide receiver, Warren finished with 29 catches for 357 yards and tow touchdowns. Warren also had one rushing touchdown.

Cole Smith (6, 215, sr.)

Smith anchored the offensive line for Loyd Star and started every game.

Charlie Parrett (6, 250, sr.)

Parrett helped contribute to a strong offensive line for Loyd Star.

Devon Kirtfield

(5-10, 180, sr.)

Kirtfield helped block for a strong ground attack for Enterprise.

Noah Diamond

(6-5, 300, soph.)

He is easily the best offensive lineman Enterprise had.

Kail Jordan (6, 220, jr.)

Jordan was an athletic offensive lineman for Enterprise.

Gage White (5-9, 150, sr.)

White made 34-38 PAT attempts for Lawrence County this season.

Zach Hodges (5-11, 155, sr.)

The starting quarterback for Enterprise did it all for the offense. Hodges went 18-46 passing for 331 yards and two touchdown passes. On the ground, Hodges had 63 carries for 607 yards and seven touchdowns.

Honorable mentions:

Brookhaven Academy:   Cade Brown, Connor Griffin

Brookhaven: Zarian Harper, John Hilbert, Don Blandon

Enterprise: Darren Richardson, Drake Allen, Brant White, Marvin Butler,

Loyd Star: Zack Baker, Konner Allen

Wesson: Blake Runyan

West Lincoln: Chase Owen