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Smith, Celestin chosen top players in subregion

Smith, Celestin chosen top players in subregion

Brandon Pearson of Drew was named to the first team All-Region 4A-AAAAA team as a quarterback after passing for a school-record 2,284 yards and 26 touchdowns. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Brandon Pearson of Drew was named to the first team All-Region 4A-AAAAA team as a quarterback after passing for a school-record 2,284 yards and 26 touchdowns. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

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Mundy’s Mill running back Rodney Smith rushed for 2,201 yards and 26 touchdowns while leading the Tigers to an 8-5 record and quarterfinals playoff appearance. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

JONESBORO — Enjoying the best season in its 11-year history, Mundy’s Mill players dominated the Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A all-region team, which was chosen by the league’s coaches earlier this week.

Mundy’s Mill running back Rodney Smith was named the subregion’s top offensive player while teammate Jonathan Celestin was chosen the top player on the defensive side.

In all, Mundy’s Mill had three players named to the first team offense and four on the defense.

This past season, the Tigers finished with a school-record eight wins as they won the subregion and hosted a first round playoff game for the first time in school history. The Tigers reached the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAA playoffs where they lost to defending state champion Gainesville.

Smith was the catalyst for the team. Coming off major knee surgery during the offseason, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder emerged as one of the top running backs in the state. He rushed for 2,201 yards and 26 touchdowns in leading the Tigers to an 8-5 record, including 6-0 in the subregion.

During the playoffs, Smith might have been at his best when he rushed for 840 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games, including a 348-yard, four-touchdown performance against Houston County in a first round game at Tara Stadium.

That game was the school’s first-ever postseason victory.

Also named to the first team from Mundy’s Mill was running back Davantarious Washington, offensive lineman Darius Anderson and wide receiver Eric Tate. Drew is represented on the first team by quarterback Brandon Pearson, running back Marquis Terry and offensive lineman Chiaza Nwadike.

It is the second straight season that Terry has been named to the first team. Also, Pearson is the second straight Drew quarterback to garner first team honors. Despite missing the first four games of the season with a wrist injury, Terry rushed for 936 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Pearson passed for a school single-season record 2,284 yards and 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

Union Grove had players named to the first team offensive unit. Brandon Williams is the lone Forest Park player on the first team offense.

Celestin heads the all-subregion second team after being named the defensive player of the year. The senior accounted for 123 tackles and four sacks. He averaged 11.2 sacks per game for the Tigers. His best game came against Union Grove when he made 17 tackles.

Joining Celestin on the first team is teammates defensive lineman Quintavious Thomas, linebacker Joshua Hill and defensive back Jailyn Allen. Kicker Loic Chimi made the first team.

Ola dominated the first team defense with four players named the unit. Making the first team for the Mustangs were defensive lineman Tyler Wesson, linebacker Cole Bailey, defensive back Conner Schlottman and Will Smith as an athlete.

Olten Downs of Creekside was named the region coach of the year. The Seminoles are undefeated and playing Tucker this evening for the Class AAAAA championship. Downs accepted the Creekside job last January after leading Riverdale the last two seasons.

He led the Raiders to the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs last season, which broke a seven-year playoff drought for the program.