Golden Eagles named All-Region, Pemberton takes MVP

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From left: Aulbrey Smith, Chandler Kaylor, Zack Pemberton, Gavin Morrison, and Bradley Goodwin (not picture: Colton Edwards and Payton Dugger)

Region 4-5A coaches voted seven Golden Eagles to the All-Region Team including Player of the Year, Zack Pemberton.

Chandler Kaylor was named Linebacker of the Year and Aulbrey Smith was named Running Back of the Year.   Other All Region selections were Colton Edwards, Payton Dugger, and Bradley Goodwin.

Golden Eagles’ head coach Mark Pemberton said this was a great honor for these players.  Coaches can’t vote for their own players in the selection process.

Player of the Year – Zack Pemberton

“I’m honored and blessed to be recognized by the coaches to be named Player of the Year in our region,” said an always modest Zack Pemberton.

Eagles’ QB Zack Pemberton steps into the pocket against a scrappy opponent. (GaryBolden/RheaReview)

In his third year as field general for the Golden Eagles, Pemberton completed the season with a 125.5 QB rating, 1,017 all purpose yards, over 956 yards rushing, 486 yards passing, and 27 touchdowns (19 rushing, 8 passing).

Linebacker of the Year – Chandler Kaylor

Defensive specialist, Chandler Kaylor led the Eagles with over 74 tackles (54 solo, 20 assists).

2018 Region 4-5A Linebacker of the Year, Chandler Kaylor. (RheaReview/ElmerHarris)

“I think it’s great that all the coaches in our region seen me fit as Linebacker of the Year, and I feel it’s a great honor to be recognized for that,” said Kaylor.

Kaylor was also selected to play in the 2018 Toyota East vs. West All-Star game where he led the East in tackles.  In 2017, Kaylor was named Region 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year. 

Running Back of the Year – Aulbrey Smith

“I feel honored and blessed that they picked me for this considering there is so many great running backs out there in our region.  I know we have a tough region, and I appreciate the coaches for picking me,” admits Aulbrey.

Aulbrey Smith with near one-handed grab in McMinn County. (photo: Marvelene Blair Fagg)

Smith finished his senior season with an average 98.8 all purpose yards per game.  While explosive on offense, Smith also averaged an interception per game as one of the top safeties in East Tennessee.

Smith was named Region 4-5A Defensive Back of the Year his junior season.

All-Region Colton Edwards

With over 30 pancake blocks, it’s no surprise the Edwards garnered the attention of region coaches.

Big #78 Colton Edwards looks for ugly jersey against Walker Valley match-up. (Photo by Samantha Tilley of Sam’s Photography)

“It’s a pretty big deal,” notes Edwards.  “I got the same honors last season, and it’s good to see I got it again this year.”

Colton has seen interest from several schools including Point University, Culver-Stockton, Lindsey Wilson, and Bethel University.

All-Region Payton Dugger

A beast as a pulling guard, Dugger is last thing any linebacker wants to meet on the edge.

Rhea County’s Payton Dugger #57 sets eyes on Bradley defender. (GaryBolden/RheaReview)

Dugger played a huge role in the Eagles’ Triple Option and on the defensive front as well.  He says the honor is the perfect way to cap his Golden Eagle career.  

“It’s been an honor to be part of such a great team and be selected All Region,” insists Dugger.

All-Region Gavin Morrison

All heart, all purpose.  Morrison defines the role of All Purpose Back.  Gavin did it all.  Interceptions, sacks, rushing and receiving touchdowns.

Eagles’ Gavin Morrison escapes Panther defender to find the edge. (GaryBolden/RheaReview)

“It’s been a lot of hard work coming back from my injury,” insists Morrison.

“I told them I’d have their backs since our freshman year, and that’s what I’ve done. To be All Region means a lot. I’m pretty honored.”

Look for Morrison to continue making his mark at the next.

All-Region Bradley Goodwin

Only a junior, Bradley Goodwin, played key roles on both sides of the ball with over 46 tackles, 37 solo tackles, and averaged 6.5 yards per carry from the fullback position.

Good friends, serious competitors. 2018 All-Star Chandler Kaylor pass the torch to Golden Eagle junior Bradley Goodwin. (Photo Facebook)

“It means a lot to get recognized.  I’d love a team achievement, but anytime you can get recognized by other teams’ coaches is a big deal,” said a gracious Goodwin.

Look for the accolades to keep rolling in as Goodwin looks to lead his Golden Eagles into next season.

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