Eagles’ linemen Brad and Scott Morgan, running back Tyray Devezin and defensive back Stuart Head were all named First-Team All-State in Class AAAAAA. They were joined by a trio from Cherokee — receiver Andrew Harris, athlete Brittain Brown and linebacker Michael Bean — who were all named to the second team.
Etowah coach Dave Svehla called the selection of his players “fantastic.”
“That’s incredible,” Svehla said. “We had some good players, including the Morgan twins, who are outstanding football players. In order to achieve an individual award like that it helps to have a really good season. Making it to the semifinals really helped those kids as far as getting individual honors.”
The Eagles, who finished the season 11-3 and reached the Class AAAAAA state semifinals and made county history in the process, added to their story with all four players being named first-team all-state. Never before has a county team had four players receive the honor, so having all of them make first team is certainly unprecedented.
Scott Morgan said the award made for a nice Christmas present, but having his twin brother named alongside him made it perfect.
“I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Scott Morgan said. “This is really just the greatest, like wow. I can’t believe it. For us both to be all-state is something we worked for.”
Scott Morgan was named the Cherokee Tribune Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week, while Brad Morgan was a member of the all-county first-team offense. Both Morgans have committed to play at Georgia Tech next year.
Devezin’s mother, Ebony Devezin, planned to turn the honor into a Christmas surprise for her son. She decided to go out early Christmas morning and pick up a copy of the newspaper, announcing the award.
“It will be the greatest Christmas present for Tyray to see that he is all-state (today),” Ebony Devezin said. “It was nothing he talked about, but he hoped for it. His dream was to win a state championship, but winning all-state as a sophomore is going to be amazing for him.”
The selection of Tyray Devezin, a running back and defensive back, and Head is also notable because as they are just two of three sophomores to be selected to the first team in Georgia’s highest classification. McEachern quarterback Kyle Hockman was the third.
“It’s a total honor, but it happened because of my teammates,” Head said. “They put me in the position to make the plays that I did to make the team better. It’s really just an honor to get it.”
Head said he set goals for himself throughout the season. He began the year expecting to be a backup quarterback to Robbie Knox, but ended up starting on defense.
“I just did what my coach told me to,” he said. “I was coached up and I guess that made me standout. My goals changed as the season went on and that was a good thing. I’m definitely excited for the two years to come. I can’t wait to continue and see what I can accomplish in the next two years.”
Svehla attributed the increase in the number of all-state players from the county to increased attention rather than increase talent.
“I think at times in the past Cherokee County probably got the short end of the stick a little bit compared to Cobb and certainly Gwinnett with 20-plus high schools and an excellent tradition of football,” Svehla said. “I think sometimes we have been forgotten a little bit and all six county high have excellent coaching staffs that do a good job with their players and I think maybe some people are starting to take notice. I think it’s great for Cherokee County.”
Cherokee coach Josh Shaw wasn’t surprised to see a few of his players named all-state. Bean, Harris and Brown were all named to the Cherokee Tribune All-County First-team offense. Harris, who led the state in receiving during the regular season, was named the Cherokee Tribune Offensive Player of the Year.
“All-state is as good as it gets,” Shaw said. “We are just honored to have three guys on it, who contributed to the success that our team had this year. It’s great for them to get some recognition. It was definitely the most successful year we have had in a long time and that is just a tribute to the type of players that we had.”