A large contingent of White County football players are part of the 7-AAA All-Region team, which was announced late last week.
The team is comprised of players from WCHS, Cherokee Bluff, North Hall, Dawson County, West Hall, Gilmer County and Lumpkin County. The squad was selected through a voting process by the coaches from each of the seven schools in the region.
The All-Region team included six superlative awards, along with first and second team selections.
A pair of Warriors were among the superlative winners – senior J. Ben Haynes and sophomore Darius Cannon.
Haynes completed his four-year run as the Warriors' starting quarterback being named the Offensive Player of the Year, while Cannon was named the Athlete of the Year.
Despite missing two games, Haynes finished the season with more than 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was 94-of-150 passing, throwing for 1,664 yards and 15 touchdowns. He rushed for 605 yards on 96 carries, and found the end zone for 15 more touchdowns.
Haynes ends his prep career as the program's all-time leader in almost every passing category. In four years, Haynes passed for 7.081 yards, completing 491-of-866 passing attempts, and had 52 touchdown passes.
Haynes rushed for 2,113 yards on 431 carries, and scored 37 rushing touchdowns.
Cannon had a breakout year for the Warriors, becoming a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Cannon had 29 receptions for a team-leading 734 yards and set the school single-season record with 10 touchdown receptions. He also set the school record for most receiving yards with 250 yards against North Hall, as well as catching three touchdown passes in the game.
Cannon also started at cornerback on the defensive unit, finishing with 24 tackles and was second on the team with five interceptions, and averaged 23 yards per return on 15 kickoff returns.
North Hall's Clark Howell, who led Class AAA with 1,716 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, was the 7-AAA Player of the Year, while his teammate sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Telander was the Defensive Player of the Year. Cherokee Bluff's Mateo Guevara was the Lineman of the Year, and Cherokee Bluff's Eli Little was the Special Teams Player of the Year.
The Warriors' first team contingent consisted of seniors Devin Sullens and Reece Dockery, juniors Silas Mulligan and Zion McMullen, and sophomore JD Trowell.
Sullens had a dominant year as the leader of the Warriors' offensive front, earning a spot among the six offensive linemen on the first team.
Sullens was the three-year starter for the Warriors, and led the team in game grade, knockdown blocks, and pancake blocks.
Dockery had a stellar year for the defensive unit, manning the Warriors' strong safety/outside linebacker spot. Dockery was the team's third leading tackler with 64 total tackles to go along with an interception.
Trowell, who has started every game of his high school career, joined Sullens on the first team offensive line. Trowell's size and athleticism helped the unit pave the way for the Warriors to a record-breaking offensive season.
Mulligan emerged as the Warriors' starting running back early in the season, and posted 1.052 yards on 155 carries. He tied Haynes for the team lead with 15 rushing touchdowns, and had five receptions for 124 yards and a score.
McMullen was one of five linebackers chosen for the first team after leading the Warriors with 89 total tackles. He led the team with 45 first hits and 44 assists. He tied for the team-lead with seven tackles for loss, and had one sack.
The Warriors had players on the second team – seniors Cooper Turner and Jaquez Williams, and juniors Alex Garcia and Alex Thornton.
Turner wrapped up his high school career at the school's all-time leading receiver. Turner had a team-high 32 receptions this fall, finishing with 498 yards and three touchdowns. For his career,
Turner finished with 110 receptions for 1,683 yards, both school records, and 11 touchdowns. He also owns the school record for receptions in a single game with 10 during the 2019 season against North Hall.
Williams has been a standout line for the Warriors for the past two seasons. Although he spent most of the season playing on the offensive side of the ball,
Williams finished the year with 24 total tackles on the defensive line, and registered four tackles for loss, to earn a spot on the second team.
Thornton split time between defensive end and linebacker this year, finishing with 52 total tackles, with two tackles for loss. Garcia, who transferred to WCHS last spring from East Jackson, stepped into a tackle spot on the Warriors' offensive line, starting all 10 games, and was a big part of the team's offensive success.