Following a big 9-2 season in 2020, the Putnam County football team was highly recognized for the contribution of 15 War Eagles when the 2020 4-AA All region Team was announced.
Topping the list were 2020 Region Offensive Player of the Year Gerald Kilgore, Region Defensive Player of the Year Michael Crumbley and Region Special Teams Player of the Year Jose Hernandez.
The Region First Team offense consisted of Cedrion Brundage, DJ Bland, Jalen Kilgore, Kameron Butler and Brandon Unash. First Team defensive honors went to Malik Thornton. Making the Second Team offense was Kendrico Ellison and Kaden Corbitt. The Second Team defense was well represented by Tra Smith, Unique Reid, Tamarion Peters and Keyontay Card.
Honorable Mention accolades were bestowed upon Trayvon Farley, Drelyn Lockhart, Jayvien Eubanks, Zac Mitchell, Chase Lupton, Chris Haynes, Jamarcus Evans and Larry Howard.
On the Players of the Year awards, Putnam head coach Shaun Pope said all three were deserving.
“What a great effort by these young men. All of these guys are very talented young men and we are very proud of them. I think they will be the first to tell you that without their teammates, it wouldn’t be possible,” said Pope. “Gerald and Michael are guys that you get to see play every down and their abilities are obvious. Jose sometimes is looked at as just a kicker but he also is very athletic and could have played multiple positions. We actually had a trick play where he is a receiver but never got a chance to use it or maybe we should have against Early County when nothing else was working.”
Pope was very proud off all the players on the All-Region team but was a little surprised senior Kaden Corbitt was left off the First Team Defensive honorees.
“I was very excited and somewhat shocked on some of our young men. I was very excited to have the offensive, defensive and special teams players of the year with the athletes that are in our region as well as all of our young men,” he said. “I was shocked that a player like Kaden Corbitt was left off of the first team but I only have one vote and Kaden definitely is not defined by an “opinion poll”. He is an awesome young man and player.”
With many players returning in 2021, it has to bode well for the future of War Eagle football.
“I can’t say enough about the quality of young men we have in our program overall. There is a solid group of seniors leaving and the underclassmen coming back are blessed with talent and character for us to build on,” explained Pope. “We are excited about the future of Putnam County Football and at the same time, we know with all that we have coming back it just means the target on our back is bigger and we have to keep getting better and doing things to continue to make our program better from top to bottom if we are going to compete at the state level.”
In addition to the All-Region players, Putnam had some players compete in All-Star games across the southeast during the Christmas break.
Georgia Elite Classic in Rome at Barron Stadium December 18-20:
According to Pope, Cedrion Brundage rushed for 40 yards on 11 carries and had one reception for 16 yards as the juniors beat the seniors 28-24. Cedrion was teammates with UGA commit CJ Washington from Cedartown and Mykell Williams from Hardaway-Columbus who are top rated players in the country with offers from SEC teams including UGA and Alabama.
DJ Bland and Detravius Smith competed on the sophomore team that defeated the freshman team. Both teams were filled with top nationally ranked players and DJ and Detravius competed very well with them. DJ had 2 catches for 59 yards, one being an electrifying run on a screen pass from Hayden Clark, a natioally ranked quarterback from Mill Creek. Detravius had 3 tackle from his DE spot.
Gerald Kilgore competed in the Next Level Junior Classic in Spartanburg, SC Dec. 18-21. This event was more than practices and a game. It allowed Gerald to attend sessions on how to handle recruiting, media days and most importantly the academic requirements of getting accepted into different schools and what he has to maintain while in school. Gerald competed well throughout the practices and was 2-4 passing for 42 yards. He also had 20 yards rushing with a touchdown.
Larry Howard competed in the All America Bowl this past weekend in Orlando, Fla. Larry had three tackles and two pass break up’s in the game.
“I’m very proud of these guys. They all competed very well and were great representation of our program. We went back to work this past Tuesday in preparation for the 2021 season,” said Pope. “Several of our young men found ways to work out through the break and that’s exciting because it lets you know that it’s becoming more important to them. We continue to pray that we can keep going and there are no shutdowns.”