2020 is almost in the rearview, and it can't come a moment too soon. But, until then, we've got some awards to give out.
This football season was one for the ages, with the COVID-19 pandemic putting every team in a state of flux. First, we wondered if there would even be a a season at all. After, how long it might last.
We made it to the end, though, with two state champions (Summit, CPA) and plenty of successes to celebrate.
Who are our winners for our awards, you might ask? Well, let's take a look!
WILLCO FOOTBALL 2020 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Destin Wade, QB, Summit
- Jaxson Campbell, QB, Independence
- Cade Granzow, QB, Brentwood
- Connor Beavon, QB, Franklin
- D.C. Tabscott, QB, Father Ryan
- Blake Barton, RB, Grace Christian Academy
- Langston Patterson, RB/LB, Christ Presbyterian Academy
- Samson Johnson, RB, Nolensville
- Josh Forsee, RB, Centennial
- Alex Broome, RB, Lipscomb Academy
- Jake Briningstool, TE, Ravenwood
- Amir Annoor, WR/CB, Brentwood Academy
Picking a Player of the Year is a tough task this year, considering what these young men accomplished in such a maelstrom of a regular season.
The quarterback play was inspired, the offensive weapons sharper than ever, and the defenders stout and dangerous. There were good players scattered through every game this year, but there can be only one winner, right?
Well, we couldn't just pick one. It was hard this year, particularly judging the quarterback play. We'll be honest, it's razor-thin when looking at these guys.
For example: What Connor Beavon did for Franklin was special, turning the Admirals into one of the most dangerous passing teams in the county. Taking down Ravenwood was an all-time Franklin moment, and he was a driving force behind that.
Brentwood's Cade Granzow also had such an outstanding career as a Bruin, finally getting the team to the state game was a heck of a way to cap his career before he joins the Auburn Tigers as a preferred walk-on for football and a future star for baseball.
Father Ryan's D.C. Tabscott also showed why he's headed to Appalachian State with a banner year for the Irish.
But we have to go with Summit's Destin Wade and Independence's Jaxson Campbell as our co-players of the year.
Wade was the most dangerous player on the field in every contest he was in, a threat for a touchdown on every run and pass. He avenged the Spartans' 2019 state loss and lead the school to its first state championship this month. It was quite an accomplishment for the junior signal caller. He did it all, for the most part, without his equally talented twin brother, Keaten, who missed a bulk of the year due to injury.
Campbell, on the other hand, was a breakout sensation at the position after transferring there before the start of the year. He had a strong year at wideout in 2019, signaling a future at the spot. But after Ethan Cash graduated, Scott Blade turned to Campbell and saw him soar. He ran Indy's offense with ease, providing a double punch in the passing and run game. His year even got attention from colleges, cementing his status as a Navy recruit.
Wade and Campbell's Week One Border Battle clash was one of the premiere games of the year, and a preview of two very excellent seasons to come. Both of these quarterbacks are more than worthy of our Player of the Year honors.
TEAM OF THE YEAR: Summit High School
The adversity the Summit High School Spartans faced this season to get back to Cookeville was overwhelming.
First off, the team was without Keaten Wade for such long gaps, a blue chip college prospect who you'll one day watch make plays in primetime on Saturdays. Second, the team only played at home four times this season, including the playoffs, due in part to COVID. The team also only played one game in the month of October and had to play its final three games on the road.
Despite all that, Summit marched toward its first state title in school history, seeing phenomenal play from guys like Destin Wade, our co-player of the year, Caleb Jolley, Brady Pierce, Cooper Koch and Gavin Wells, just to name a few. Brian Coleman also leads one of the most talented coaching staffs in the county.
For all that, the Spartans will repeat as our Team of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Christ Presbyterian Academy, Brentwood High School, Lipscomb Academy, Brentwood Academy, Franklin High School
COACH OF THE YEAR: Brian Coleman, Summit
Coleman had to navigate his team through some difficult waters to get back to Cookeville, but his leadership helped the Spartans bring back the gold ball to Spring Hill. He deservingly repeats as our Coach of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Ron Crawford - Brentwood, Ingle Martin - CPA, Cody White - Brentwood Academy, Scott Blade - Independence, Donnie Webb - Franklin, Trent Dilfer - Lipscomb Academy, Paul Derrick - Nolensville
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ravenwood TE Jake Briningstool
Briningstool, or "Drago" as he's affectionately known, will be headed to the top of college football to play for Clemson. He used his senior year as a justification for the Tigers' faith in his potential. He was a 6A Mr. Football finalist and was a consistent, monstrous weapon for Trevor Andrews.
Honorable Mentions: Cade Granzow - Brentwood, Connor Beavon - Franklin, Langston Patterson - CPA, Alex Broome - Lipscomb Academy, Blake Barton - GCA, Samson Johnson - Nolensville, D.C. Tabscott - Father Ryan, Josh Forsee - Centennial, Fisher Anderson - Franklin, Brady Pierce - Summit, Amir Annoor - Brentwood Academy
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Summit LB Caleb Jolley
Jolley has become one of the best "glue guys" in the county on defense. The Spartans defense doesn't really work without Jolley and his fantastic coverage and tackling skills. He's been very quietly one of the best defenders in WillCo over the last few years, and he's deserving of this award now that his career has come to a close.
Honorable Mentions: Spencer Rich - Brentwood, Grant Reeder - Nolensville, Langston Patterson - CPA, Amir Annoor - Brentwood Academy, Gavin Wells/Brady Pierce - Summit, Junior Colson/Myles Pollard/Ben Severance - Ravenwood
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Brentwood K Teagen Lenderink, Independence P Cooper Allan
Check back tomorrow for the Home Page's 2020 All-WillCo Team.