Another outstanding Gwinnett high school football season reaped more rewards this week.
A total of 21 players and one coach from the area earned all-state honors from Georgia Sports Writers Association, which released its season-ending awards Friday. Two Gwinnett standouts were named state defensive players of the year in their classification — North Gwinnett’s Jared Ivey in Class AAAAAAA and Lanier’s Phillip Webb in AAAAAA.
Buford’s Bryant Appling also was named the AAAAA Coach of the Year after leading the Wolves to the state championship.
“I am thrilled to learn Coach Appling is receiving this award,” Buford athletic director Tony Wolfe said. “Coach App is everything we believed he would be and more as a leader and as a football coach. Coach Appling created a culture of excellence and accountability on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom. In addition to being an outstanding leader of our football program, Coach Appling displayed remarkable instincts for in-game decisions and adjustments that revealed his confidence in his players and coaches, and helped change the outcome of many games that led to a state championship season. I am so proud of Byrant and his championship season, and grateful for the amazing leadership he displays each and every day.”
Ivey, also the Daily Post’s Defensive Player of the Year, helped North to the AAAAAAA Final Four as a senior. The Georgia Tech signee finished the year with 80 tackles (32 for losses) and 20 sacks.
“Jared Ivey set the standard for defensive end play at North Gwinnett,” North head coach Bill Stewart said. “His 20 sacks led 7A and was a school record that will probably stand for a long time. He was athletic, but also was student of the game. His football IQ, on top of his athletic ability, made him a special player. He cared about his teammates and was a pleasure to coach.”
Webb, an LSU signee, had 91 tackles (24 for losses), 13 sacks and 29 quarterback hurries as a senior for a state playoff team.
“Phillip had a great year for us,” Lanier head coach Korey Mobbs said. “This award adds to his long list of accolades. We are excited about him starting his career at LSU. His versatility, length and speed will be great assets for the Tigers as he continues to develop his skills.”
Ivey was joined on the AAAAAAA all-state defense by two of his North teammates, linebacker Barrett Carter and defensive back Taylor Goodson. The Bulldogs had another all-state selection on offense, wide receiver Josh Downs.
Parkview put three players on the AAAAAAA all-state list — running back Cody Brown, linebacker Kobe Wilson and kicker Nolan McCord. Archer offensive lineman Ethan Lane was the other Gwinnett representative on the all-state list in Georgia’s largest classification.
Dacula’s Riley Adcock, at offensive line, and Kaleb Edwards, at defensive back, made the AAAAAA all-state team alongside Webb.
Appling was recognized in AAAAA alongside three of his players. The Wolves’ all-state selections were offensive lineman Seth McLaughlin, defensive back T. Lee and kicker Hayden Olsen.
Offensive lineman Myles Hinton, linebacker Choe Bryant-Strother and defensive back Tyler Bride gave Greater Atlanta Christian three all-state picks in AAA.
Wesleyan led the way in A Private with three all-state players — offensive lineman Tanner Bivins, linebacker Josh Aspinwall and defensive back Micah Smith. Hebron Christian’s Donnovan Moorer made all-state in that classification at wide receiver.