By Ryan Rohde
1.) Washaun Ealey, Sr., RB, Emanuel County Institute Bulldogs (GA): Ealey led ECI to the Class A state title game this season with 41 touchdowns and 2,825 yards. The two-time Class A player of the year finished his high school career with a state-record 133 touchdowns. Ealey possesses an uncanny ability to see the field and has the speed to explode through the holes. He left his mark on the record books and will be a Georgia Bulldog next fall.
2.) Tim Simon, Sr., RB, Cordova Blue Devils (AL): The senior carried the Blue Devils all the way to the 3A finals in '08. The 6-2, 216-lbs. bruiser rushed for 2,958 yards and 42 touchdowns, good for fifth and third all-time for a single season in Alabama. He ended his career third all-time in touchdowns (129) and rushing yards (8,536), just 126 yards shy of a state record. He was named the Birmingham News player of the year. Simon also proved to be a veracious linebacker and will take his talents to Ole Miss next season.
3.) Tyler Caldwell, Sr., QB, Cullman Bearcats (AL): The signal-caller forever left his mark at Cullman and in the state of Alabama. The 6-2, 210-lbs. quarterback finished his senior campaign with a single-season state record of 4,132 yards passing and 37 touchdowns. Caldwell also set a new state record for completions and attempts when he went 42 for 61 in a game against Mountain Brook. The Auburn commit was named the Class 5A running back of the year and was named 5A first team all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
4.) South Panola Tigers and Meridian Wildcats (MS): Both of these teams deserve recognition for achievements of the year. The first goes to South Panola for extending the nation's longest active winning streak all the way to 89 games. It's simply an amazing stat that may not been seen again for a very long time. The feat stands as the third longest winning streak in the history of high school football and had been ongoing since '03 campaign. The second goes to the Meridian Wildcats for ending South Panola’s winning streak in the Class 5A state title game. It took the Wildcats overtime to upend the Tigers, 26-20, and end South Panola’s bid for a sixth straight state championship.
5.) Maryville Rebels and Hillsboro Burros (TN): The day after South Panola’s streak ended, so did the second longest active streak in the country as Maryville was grounded by Hillsboro in the Class 4A state title. The Rebels, winners of 74 straight, held the honor as nation’s longest active streak for less than 24 hours. Maryville’s win streak is good for fourth all-time. Meanwhile, Hillsboro started the season 2-2, before reeling off 11 straight wins. The Burros' defense carried the team in the title game. A field goal with 8:52 left to play gave the Burros a lead they would not relinquish. The defense closed the door, stopping the vaunted Maryville offense on 10 of 11 drives, leading to the 10-7 victory. The championship is the first in Hillsboro football history and ended the Rebels bid for a fifth straight crown.
To contact correspondent Ryan Rohde, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.