With the conclusion of football season and the crowning of the state’s eight champions, The Walton Tribune is announcing its 2020 All-County football team.
The 2020 football season was one of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the season approached, some were skeptical of getting in a complete season. As the season progressed it seemed to be business as usual for many teams.
George Walton and Monroe Area continued to be the two best teams in the county despite the pandemic, with the Bulldogs advancing further in the playoffs than any other team in the county. Social Circle had a resurgence and made the state playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Loganville showed some promise under a new head coach, while Walnut Grove showed it’s not too far away from being competitive in Region 8-AAAAA. Loganville Christian took some lumps in the school’s first year in the Georgia High School Association, but also showed it can be competitive in the coming years.
Leading the 2020 All-County team as Coach of the Year is George Walton’s Shane Davis. Despite a young team, Davis guided the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record and their deepest playoff run since 2012 before dropping a close contest to Calvary Day in the Elite Eight.
Monroe Area still finished with an 8-3 record and nearly cliched the No. 2 seed out of Region 8-AAA, despite losing its starting quarterback in the front end of the season. Much of the success the Hurricanes found can be attributed to the Tribune’s 2020 Player of the Year, Mason Byron.
Byron did it all for the ’Canes, starting as a safety on defense and return man on special teams. Byron also locked down the starting quarterback job halfway through the season and helped lead the Hurricanes to their second-place finish in Region 8-AAA and first round playoff contest against powerhouse Cedar Grove.
Byron finished the year with 515 yards rushing on 57 carries with six touchdowns while also leading the county in interceptions with five along with 78 tackles. He was also named the region 8-AAA Athlete Player of the Year.
Loganville led the way in All-County selections this year with 11, not including honorable mention, followed closely behind by George Walton with 10. Social Circle and Monroe Area had nine selections each while Walnut Grove finished with eight. Loganville Christian has two All-County selections.
Highlighting the 2020 All-County team are seven of the Tribune’s preseason Elite 11 selections, five of whom were named first team all-county. That includes Byron being named Player of the Year.
Most of the Elite 11 selections landed on either the first team offense or first team defense. Logan Cross (Social Circle) and Jackson Ellerbee (George Walton) were named first team offense while Colby Yancey (Walnut Grove) and Neto Okpala (Loganville) were named first team defense.
Preseason Elite 11 selections Eric Taylor (Social Circle) and Bradyn Sorrow (George Walton) were named to the second team offense.
Loganville Christian’s Cameron Lifsey along with Loganville’s Jackson Daniel and Tanner Greene, all of which were preseason Elite 11 selections, were named All-County honorable mention.
The first team offense is made up of quarterback Cross (Social Circle), running back Ellerbee (George Walton), running back Alan Jones (Monroe Area), wide receiver KJ Reid (Social Circle), wide receiver Austin May (Loganville), wide receiver Bryant Olson (Monroe Area), lineman Jackson Austin (Social Circle), lineman Max Thurston (Monroe Area), lineman Micah Cordle (Loganville), lineman Adam Head (George Walton), lineman CJ Hann (Walnut Grove), and athlete Jake Whitten (George Walton).
The first-team defense is made up of lineman Coretez Sorrell (Monroe Area), lineman Neto Okpala (Loganville), lineman Dozie Okpala (Loganville), lineman Kyle Smith (Walnut Grove), linebacker Jeffery Smith (Monroe Area), linebacker Travone Wilson (Monroe Area), linebacker Tucker Cleary (Social Circle), defensive back Trae Adkins (George Walton), defensive back Cooper Kennedy (Loganville), defensive back Hunter Hampton (Loganville Christian), defensive back Colby Yancey (Walnut Grove) and kicker Dominic Williams (George Walton).
Second-team offense selections include, quarterback Gavin Hall (George Walton), running back Avery Hamilton (Loganville), running back Chad Walden (Walnut Grove), wide receiver Michael Mason (Loganville), wide receiver Eric Taylor (Social Circle), wide receiver Lawson Steele (George Walton), lineman Dallas Dimsdale (Walnut Grove), lineman Chase Ransom (Loganville), lineman Oliver Buckner (Loganville Christian), lineman Tyler Wilhite (Monroe Area), lineman Mikey Holmes (Social Circle) and athlete Austin Coleman (Walnut Grove).
Second-team defense selections include, lineman Justin Pressley (Walnut Grove), lineman Austin Head (George Walton), lineman Bernard Manga (Monroe Area), linebacker Chris Mull (Walnut Grove), linebacker Bradyn Sorrow (George Walton), linebacker Dylan Nunn (Walnut Grove), linebacker Brandon Thorton (Loganville), defensive back Mason Moore (Social Circle) defensive back Gabe Farmer (Loganville), defensive back Carter Payne (George Walton), defensive back Mason Lawson (Loganville) and kicker Aaron Aune (Social Circle).
Honorable mention All-County members include Loganville Christian’s Cameron Lifsey, Valentino Foma and Brent Taylor; George Walton’s Austin Cole, Laythan Folgman, Micahel Dagenhart, Will Bailey and Russell Hunely; Loganville’s Tanner Greene, Jackson Daniel, Eric Jones, Garrett Mason, Solomon Leslie, TJ Taylor and Tarance Breedlove; Monroe Area’s Qwayvo Wortham, Hunter Wilcox, Walker Salyer, Darrell Smith, Jalon Flud, Jeramiah Anderson and Dee Branch; Social Circle’s Amarion Russell, Austin Atha, Petey Baynes and Trey Douglas and Walnut Grove’s Grayson Blalock, JT Rainey, DeeDee Brown, Kolton Goodbar and Nick Landrum.
The All-County team is selected by a panel consisting of Tribune sports editor Brett Fowler, Tribune Proprietor Patrick Graham, Tribune publisher David Clemons, Tribune news editor Stephen Milligan and correspondents David Johnson and Chris Bridges.