2004 All-Area football team
Burch, Godsey, Pinchon, Youngblood take top honors
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle Enquirer has announced its 2004 All-Area high school football team.
Taking top honors are Danville's Joey Burch and Hartselle's Bob Godsey who shared the Coach of the Year honors. Each coach had a player selected Player of the Year. Burch's senior defensive end Patrick Pinchon was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Godsey's senior running back Justin Youngblood was named Offensive Player of the Year.
Coach of the Year
In any other season either of the two coaches would have won the award alone, but 2004 proved to be a year for two winners of the award.
Danville's Burch led the Hawks to a 9-2 record and a first-round playoff appearance. The nine wins tied a school record and the playoff appearance was the first for the school since 1994. This season marked the first winning year for the Hawks in a decade.
Godsey described his team in preseason as, "Very young, but promising."
His assessment would prove correct as the Tigers reached the second round of the playoffs and posted a 9-3 record. During the season, Hartselle lost only to teams ranked in the state's Top 10 polls, while posting three wins over ranked teams.
The Tigers averaged 32 points per game as they improved by three wins over the 2003 season, when they went 6-5 in Godsey's first season at the school.
The improvement was unexpected, as only eight starters returned from the 2003 season.
Player of the Year
Pinchon, who played H-back on offense as well as defensive end, recorded 67 tackles, nine sacks and forced six fumbles a year after being named to the 3A All-State team as a junior. The Hawks' senior recovered eight fumbles as well as scoring two touchdowns.
Pinchon scored once on the ground as a fullback against Hanceville. However, his most memorable play came when he blocked a punt and picked up the ball and returned it for a score against Winston County.
Player of the Year
Youngblood, who doubled as the Tigers' punter, led the area with 1,842 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns. He added two scores on kickoff returns, one of 98 yards against Brewer and the other a 96-yard runback against Walker. He also scored on a pass reception for a total of 28 touchdowns in 12 games.
He had strong showing against some of the best teams in the state. Against No. 3 ranked Russellville in a region showdown, the Tiger senior ripped off 196 yards rushing on 25 carries and two scores. Against state 5A semi-finalist Athens he ran for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. He finished the year with a 7.3 yards per carry average.
First Team Offense
Quarterback – Seth Watson of Hartselle compiled a 16-8 record in 24 career starts for the Tigers. He completed 51 percent of his passes for 1,127 yards and nine touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 478 yards on 62 carries and four
Running back – Jeremy Orr
of Danville ran for 1,356 yards on 230 carries and scored 22 touchdowns in helping the Hawks make the playoffs.
Tight end – Jeff Grandstaff of Falkville led caught 20 passes for 316 yards for the Blue Devils.
Receivers – Hartselle's Chris Wiley made big plays this season on both sides of the ball at safety and at receiver.
On offense, he caught 33 passes for 560 yards and six touchdowns. He also scored on a reverse and scored three touchdowns on interception returns on defense.
The senior also contributed 68 tackles and three passes batted down.
Markus Greenleaf of Brewer caught 16 passes for 176 yard and two scores, in addition to rushing for 409 yards and four more scores. As a cornerback on defense for the Patriots, Greenleaf recorded 27 tackles and two interceptions.
Offensive line – Hartselle's Travis Lightle played center and defensive end for the Tigers while helping Youngblood compile his incredible season on the ground. Being the snapper on punts and field goals meant Lightle played iron-man football. He was off the field only on kickoffs and kickoff returns.
Fellow Tiger lineman Brad Eubanks had a fine season leading the blocking for the Tigers' Youngblood.
Senior Nick Jolley of Danville has been the Hawks most consistent offensive lineman for the past two seasons, helping Jeremy Orr gain over 2,600 yards in the last 21 Danville games.
Priceville junior John Miller received high praise from area coaches and graded out 85 percent or higher in each game this season. According to his coaches, he's the strongest player on the team.
Brewer junior John Shivers, a 6-foot-1 265-pound drive blocker helped the Patriots run for more than 2,000 yards in 2004.
Place-kicker – Hartselle sophomore Ray Canafax took over in midseason after senior Patrick Whatley injured his knee and was unable to kick. Canafax made the most of his opportunity by making five-of-nine field goals, including a 43-yard kick in a playoff win over Etowah.
He also converted on 14-of-15 point-after touchdowns.
First Team Defense
Defensive line – Hartselle's JD Glenn was the Tigers' fifth leading tackler with 69 stops, including four tackles for losses and three-and-a-half quarterback sacks. He also forced one fumble and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery to tie the Tigers playoff game with Etowah.
Danville's Lee Waddell and Logan Asherbranner join teammate Pinchon on the defensive front.
Waddell recorded 65 stops, forced two fumbles and recovered another and blocked a punt this season. Asherbranner had 66 stops, eight quarterback sacks, forced five fumbles and recovered three.
Linebackers – Hartselle's Michael Scott and Johnny "Moo Moo" Jones helped the Tigers make a run to the state playoffs.
Scott led the area with 131 tackles, while recording six-and-a-half tackles for losses and recording seven quarterback sacks. He also batted down three pass attempts.
Jones, who represented Hartselle on Dec. 21 in the state High School All-Star game, recorded 73 stops, two tackles for losses, recovered three fumbles, broke up one pass, had one pass interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Danville's Thomas Garner led the Hawks with 111 stops, while causing three fumbles, intercepting three passes and forcing a fumble.
Garner's teammate Craig Poole recorded 76 stops and recovered three fumbles. He also returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown and returned a punt 34 yards for another six points.
Defensive backs – Falkville's Cody Simpson recorded 81 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered another, while covering the opposing team's best receiver each week.
Hartselle's Daniel Crowe recorded 91 stops, four tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks, batted down three passes and blocked two point-after attempts.
Danville junior Tyree Murphy picked off eight passes and returned them for 207 yards.
In addition, he had 32 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. On offense, he caught 16 passes for 258 yards and three scores.
Punter – Brewer senior Justin Knight punted 63 times for a 37.6 average and put 62 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
He also connected on a 33-yard field goal as the Pats' place-kicker.
Special team's player – Hunter Teague of Priceville played four positions for the Bulldogs in 2004, including linebacker, running back, quarterback and kick returner.
His coaches described him as a "super team leader."