The high school football season ended in November, but awards for the best in prep football were named today. The Press-Register honored the top offensive and defensive players of the year, as well as, the coach of the year.
Mark Freeman, Spanish Fort head coach was named the 2014 coach of the year, after leading the Toro’s to back-to-back 5A State Championships.
“It’s a great award, you want to be look at as the best at whatever you’re at, and it’s a blessing to bew honored by that. There’s a lot of coaches out there just as good as me, a lot of them are better than I am, but I’m blessed with great kids and we’re blessed that the kids work hard and we’re in a good situation,” said Feeman.
The offensive player of the year award went to McGill-Toolen’s running back Ito Smith. Smith ran for more than 1,800 yards for the yellow jackets, helping the team advance to the state semi-final for 6A.
“It makes me happy to know that I’ve worked very hard for three years and for all these awards, for me to receive these is confirmation, it just shows that hard work pays off,” said Smith.
“Ito obviously is a remarkable player on the field, but such an even better person off the field, he’s a great kid in the classroom, he’s clearly one of our team leaders and has been since the day he walked into McGill-Toolen. Our kids have so much respect for him, our faculty, administration, the coaching staff, he’s just loved by everyone at McGill,” said McGill-Toolen head coach Bart Sessions.
The defensive player of the year award went to St. Paul’s linebacker Tre Williams. Williams, an Auburn-commit, was named to the Super 12 list of best players in Class 5A; and was a two-time finalist for best linebacker in the state.
“It’s been a blessing, it’s something I really look forward to with college because I had all this stuff happen in high school and it really lets me know where I’m at and what level I’m at. When I’m in college I’ll have to prove myself again, everyone’s better than me, so I’ll have to prove my game,” said Williams.
‘What a career he’s had for us, I think he’s made every hall, team there is to be made. He’s had a great senior year and career for St. Paul’s, he’ll graduate as the leading tackler and he’s just been a pleasure to be around,” said St. Paul’s head coach Steve Mask.