Four local standouts receive All-State nod
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Jan 02, 2014 | 1817 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POLK COUNTY’S Zach Miller (35) and Tanner Plemons (52) are two of the local football players who were recently named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s 2013 all-state teams.
POLK COUNTY’S Zach Miller (35) and Tanner Plemons (52) are two of the local football players who were recently named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s 2013 all-state teams.
This week the Tennessee Sports Writer Association announced selections for the all-state football teams, and several area players were chosen.

Polk County had two players selected for the Class 3A all-state team.

Senior Zach Miller, the Wildcats’ 6-foot-1, 235 pound star running back was chosen as one of the three Class 3A all-state running backs.

During his final season at Polk, Miller racked up a total of 2,038 yards and 23 touchdowns, and also caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

In the last two seasons, Miller accumulated 3,968 yards and a total of 48 touchdowns.

Joining Miller on the all-state list is 6-foot, 260-pound senior Wildcat guard Tanner Plemons.

Plemons helped to anchor a Wildcat offense that rushed for 3,034 yards this season and led the team’s offensive linemen with nine pancake walks.

“I’m very happy for both of them. This is Zach’s second time making the all-state team and I know that Tanner was very excited to make the team this year. Both are very deserving and have represented the program very well over these past few years,” said Polk County head coach Derrick Davis. “It’s a credit to them. Not only are they all-state football players but they are all-state character players as well. They’re great young men off the field as well.”

A total of seven District 5-AAA players, including two from Cleveland, made the Class 5A all-state team this year.

Offensively, Cleveland quarterback Austin Herink made the cut.

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound senior southpaw completed 234-of-358 passes (65.4 percent) for a total of 3,315 yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

The quarterback was also strong on his feet, rushing 90 times for 273 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Herink led an offense that put up 5,832 yards and 452 points for the 2013 season.

East Hamilton’s Tony Francois was named an all-state wide receiver, with Ooltewah’s offensive lineman David Nobles also claiming a spot.

For 5A defense, the Hurricanes’ Austin Gatewood and Vanderbilt commitment Tre Herndon were named to the team for linebacker and defensive back respectively.

Ooltewah’s David Strickland was selected as a defensive lineman.

Athlete DJ Jones rounds out the seven District 5-AAA players to make the all-state team.

Jones, a 5-foot-11, 175 pound Cleveland senior had many responsibilities on the field this season as a two-way starter at wide receiver and defensive back, as well as being the Raiders’ main kick returner.

Jones had 68 receptions for 956 yards and 16 touchdowns, and also had 16 carries for 65 yards and four more touchdowns.

On defense, the senior was in on 53 tackles, which included 38 solos, as well as a tackle for loss and an interception.


Class 3A

Coach of the Year: Gary Rankin (Alcoa)


QB – Hunter Zimmerman (Fairview)

QB – Isiah Upton (East Nashville)

QB – Connor York (Upperman)

RB – Jaquez Tyson (Alcoa)

RB – Zach Miller (Polk County)

RB – Tyler Coe (Chuckey-Doak)

WR – Whitaker Cunningham (Christian Academy of Knoxville)

WR – Thomas Richard (Christ Presbyterian Academy)

WR – Nic Harvey (Fairview)

WR – Robert Stephenson (Upperman)

ATH – Malik Love (Alcoa)

ATH – Nikia Cathey (Westwood)

ATH – Jaquail Williams (Austin-East)

OL – Kyle Malik Mitchell (Alcoa)

OL – Paul Adams (Christ Presbyterian Academy)

OL – Ryne Reynolds (Westview)

OL – Tanner Plemons (Polk County)

OL – Robert Kidwell (Notre Dame)

K – Cal Bradshaw (Westview)


DL – Patrick Ely (Upperman)

DL – Braylon Young (Alcoa)

DL – Zac Wright (Alcoa)

DL – Jonathan Decker (Alcoa)

LB – Garrett Wall (Fairview)

LB – Jay Hockaday (Christ Presbyterian Academy)

LB – Gage Johnson (McMinn Central)

LB – Tyler Enos (Notre Dame)

LB – Blake Cates (Sequatchie County)

LB – Keller Maples (Alcoa)

LB – Spencer Brien (Gatlinburg-Pittman)

DB – Willie Stewart (Tyner)

DB – Brandon Teeter (Alcoa)

DB – John Riley McLaughlin (Alcoa)

DB – Ty Brown (Westview)

DB – Kareem Orr (Notre Dame)

P – Kristen McKinney (Milan)

Class 5A

Coach of the Year: James Counce (Henry County)


QB – Ethan Jeffers (Campbell County)

QB – LeEarl Patterson (Melrose)

QB – Austin Herink (Cleveland)

RB – Dorian Carter (Beech)

RB – Matthew Fox (Anderson County)

RB – Nathan Cottrell (West)

WR – Brandon Donaldson (Henry County)

WR – Drake Powell (Clinton)

WR – Cornellius Sturghill (Melrose)

WR – Tony Francois (East Hamilton)

OL – Jeffrey Marshall (Henry County)

OL – Matthew Pyke (Anderson County)

OL – David Nobles (Ooltewah)

OL – Mason McNutt (South-Doyle)

OL – Leon Humphrey (West)

ATH – Joc Bruce (South-Doyle)

ATH – D.J. Jones (Cleveland)

ATH – Montrell Pardue (Northeast)

K – Bryan Rammel (Henry County)


DL – Terry Fultz (Ridgeway)

DL – Ray Taylor (Memphis East)

DL – Khalil Watford (West)

DL – Hunter Lane (Gibbs)

DL – David Strickland (Ooltewah)

DL – Xavier Schulter (Lincoln County)

LB – Cody Underwood (West)

LB – Noah Hoxie (West)

LB – Nick Bailey (Campbell County)

LB – Dennis Tharpe (Henry County)

LB – Austin Gatewood (East Hamilton)

DB – Shontel Thompson (Henry County)

DB – Joseph Elkins (Campbell County)

DB – Kyland Tate (Memphis East)

DB – Alex Burch (West)

DB – Max Bacon (West)

DB – Tyler Eddings (Shelbyville)

DB – Tre Herndon (East Hamilton)

P – Hunter Sumner (Oak Ridge)