2013 All-County football
After an exciting 2013 high school football season, The Daily Courier sports department has chosen its All-County performers. The list comprises of the top-11 performers in Rutherford County based on individual stats, coaching nominations and observations from The Daily Courier sports staff.
Kameron Garrison RB, East Rutherford
Garrison entered the 2013 season as the favorite to get the bulk of the carries in the Cavaliers backfield. He was only a sophomore. Before the season, East Rutherford head coach Clint Bland pegged Garrison as a "tough-nosed" runner. Garrison proved his coach right as he racked up 701 yards and 10 touchdowns with a punishing, angry style of running.
Jordan Strickland DL, East Rutherford
Strickland, a returner to the All-County list, proved to be a leader for the East Rutherford defense once again in 2013. Strickland was often involved in collapsing pockets and tackles for loss as his full-speed mentality haunted opposing offenses. As Bland said before the season, "Jordan is a wildman and to play defensive line you have to be."
Chandler Casner C, Chase
Casner missed the final two games of the 2013 season due to injury, but those games were just a drop in the bucket for a kid that manned the middle of the Trojan offensive since his sophomore season. Casner was one of two three-year starters for the Trojans and head coach Daniel Bailey referred to him as "one of the smartest players I've ever coached."
Josh Wright FB, Chase
Wright returns to the All-County list after following his stellar junior year with another impressive stat line in 2013. Defenses keyed in more on the fullback knowing what he was capable of but he still managed nearly 1,000 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the year. Wright also played defensive line for the Trojans.
Jordan O'Rourke RB/S, Chase
O'Rourke was the Trojans' Swiss Army knife. He played offense, defense, returned punts and even served as the team's punter. As a wingback in the Trojans triple-option attack, O'Rourke scored eight touchdowns and returned one put for a score. However, his biggest impact may have been on defense where he amassed 65 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five interceptions, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and six sacks. Chase head coach Daniel Bailey referred to O'Rourke as "the best all-around football player in the county."
Matt Atchley RB/DB, R-S Central
As a junior, Atchley took over as the featured back in a talented R-S Central backfield. Blending a rare combination of power and speed, Atchley rushed for 1,026 yards and six touchdowns averaging a spectacular 6.8 yards per carry. He also recored 52 total tackles on defense with four interceptions. However, his most electrifying moment of the season was an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the first half expired against East Rutherford.
Desmond Whitesides RB/DB, R-S Central
Whitesides did nothing for R-S Central in 2013 other than make plays. Paired in the backfield with Atchley, Whitesides finished the season with over 600 yards rushing and tied Garrison for the county lead in rushing touchdowns with 10. In the defensive backfield, Whitesides compiled 37 total tackles, picked off four passes and scored two defensive touchdowns.
Michael Murphy OL, R-S Central:
Murphy, much like Chase's Casner, was an unquestioned leader for R-S Central. As a senior, Murphy had a front-row seat to the struggles of the Hilltoppers program leading up to this season. Murphy was key cog for a veteran offensive line that head coach Mike Cheek said helps him "sleep a whole lot better."
Efrim Borders WR, Thomas Jefferson
Borders was a human highlight reel for the Thomas Jefferson Gryphons. The preseason all-state selection didn't disappoint as he scored 17 total touchdowns in 2013. Borders led the county with 811 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 45 receptions. He added 209 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. On special teams, Borders returned a total of 17 kicks for 437 yards and three more touchdowns. And did I mention that he also played defense? Borders led the Gryphons' defensive backfield with 52 tackles and intercepted four passes.
Mason Martin QB, Thomas Jefferson
Martin, who took over for his brother McKinnon, nearly bested the stats the elder Martin posted in 2012. The only quarterback to be named All-County, passed for 1,199 yards and 13 touchdowns. Equally impressive, the dual-threat quarterback also rushed 864 yards and 10 touchdowns. Martin also chipped in on defense with three interceptions.
Coty Flynn RB/LB, Thomas Jefferson
Flynn played the power back for head coach Jerry Cash and the Gryphons in 2013. Flynn played the role well rushing for 496 yards and eight touchdowns. In addition, Flynn was second on the team with 60 total tackles. Flynn also added an interception, tow fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.