Local Athletes Make 2019 All-State Football Teams: 14 In All Named To Elite Squads
MADISON- The Alabama Sports Writers Association has released its 2019 All-State Football Teams and local schools are well represented with no less than 14 student-athletes placed among the best players in the state of Alabama.
Class 7A First-Team selections included WR- Chris Hope, James Clemens, Sr., 6-0, 180; K- Jacob Fruehwald, Bob Jones, Sr., 5-7, 140; P- Miles Tillman, Sparkman, Sr., 6-1, 210; Athlete- Caden Rose, Bob Jones, Sr., 5-10, 175 and Chase Starling, James Clemens, Sr., 5-9, 190.
“I had a pretty good season, but wished I did a little better job of getting open, especially during our losing playoff game against Hoover,” said Hope of his season for the James Clemens Jets. “It’s an honor to be chosen on the All-State team, especially since I played the entire season with a torn right meniscus that I suffered during summer seven-on-seven play. I just had surgery and all is fine.”
Hope had 65 catches for 1,001 yards and 10 touchdowns for the 9-3 Jets. He has received college offers from East Tennessee and William-Penn. He’ll make his decision as he nears the National Signing Day in February.
Starling, another member of the Jets who made the First-Team selections, came to James Clemens from Hazel Green wanting to play quarterback. He lost out the starting nod to Connor Cantrell, but was used mostly as a wingback where he excelled enough to be chosen among the special squad.
“I was surprised for sure,” said Starling of his All-State selection. “This was a pleasant surprise and I was just having fun all season long.”
Starling had 94 rushes for 554 yards and 13 touchdowns while also throwing for 159 yards and two scores when he played backup quarterback for the Jets. He’s had three offers from small schools, but is looking to enter school somewhere and begin his studies as a civil engineer with a 3.8 grade point average. He will only entertain scholarships from programs who want his talents as a quarterback. “That’s correct as my love is playing quarterback. Having the chance to play a different position this past season certainly opened my eyes to I can be more than a quarterback.”
For Fruehwald, he plans on being a walk-on for either Alabama, Auburn or Miss State where he wants to study engineering with his current 4.3 grade point average. He’s already received a partial academic scholarship from Alabama and one day would like to work for Raytheon and invent new machines.
As for his actions on the field and being chosen First-Team placekicker, Fruehwald was 12 of 15 in field goals with his longest 44 yards and was 22 of 23 in PATs. The former soccer player said of his senior season, “For the most part I was solid as I don’t dwell on missed kicks as that can make you over compensate. I was lucky I had the same long snapper and holder my last three years at Bob Jones. That made everything smooth.”
Nicknamed “Golden Leg” in football and “White Lightning” for his sprinting talents on the Patriots’ track team, Fruehwald is dyslexic and attributes some of his success to his teachers who have taken the time to assist him to become an elite student. He also underwent an appendectomy during his sophomore season where he was suited up and kicking within one week after undergoing the removal of his appendix.
“I feel honored and blessed to be chosen for the All-State Team as I never thought I could make it,” said Fruehwald.
Additionally, Rose made the selections again this year with 491 yards rushing, 947 yard passing and nine touchdowns as the signal caller for the Patriots. He was also the team’s leading punter with a 41.3-yard average and had 90 tackles with one interception playing on defense. Rose was definitely all over the field for Bob Jones, 4-6.
Second-Team selections included RB- Dylan Blackburn, James Clemens, Sr., 6-1, 218; OL- Zach Taylor, James Clemens, Sr., 6-5, 315; DL- Gavin Ransaw, Sparkman, Sr., 6-2, 305; LB- MacKenzie Howard, Sparkman, Sr., 5-10, 205; DB- Tyrone Wilson, James Clemens, Sr., 6-2, 185; Athlete- Tavion Rupert, Sparkman, Sr., 5-10, 185.
Honorable Mention for Class 7A included OL- Drew Lawson, Bob Jones, Jr., 6-2, 275; LB- Keontae Strother, James Clemens, Sr., 5-11, 215.
Overall, James Clemens had six players make the post-season list, Sparkman (8-3) had four while Bob Jones had three.
The Madison Academy Mustangs had one player chosen to the Class 5A First-Team All-State selections as wide receiver Slate Rucker, Sr., 6-1, 160 made the list for the 5-6 Mustangs.
The ASWA made its All-State selections from nominations from coaches of those competing teams across the state. Three finalists for back and lineman of the year in each classification will be chosen soon and Mr. Football chosen from all classifications to be named Jan. 14 at the AWSA State Banquet in Montgomery.