Jelyn Haley, Eagleton Middle School
In his first season for the Royals, Jelyn was a big play waiting to happen. An eighth-grader, Haley scored nine touchdowns, two of which were on kickoff returns. On defense, he was able to prevent big plays with his speed from linebacker and defensive back. Haley is the son of Tamara Woods.
Cody Gray, Eagleton Middle School
Gray, a two-year player at Eagleton, played fullback and linebacker in 2008. Possessing good balance and speed, he was able to get the football to the end zone 10 times. On defense, Gray had a nose for the football and was the leading tackler for the Royals. Gray is the son of Bethany and William Boling.
Ezekiel Koko, Alcoa Middle School
Son of Paulus and Suona Koko, Ezekiel immigrated from Sudan when he was in the fourth grade. He started playing football soon after his arrival in the fifth grade. He has since developed his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame into solid muscle. On offense, Koko averaged 8 yards per carry and two touchdowns per game. On defense, he was one of the leading tacklers from his linebacker spot and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Koko also returned punts, kickoffs and kicked off.
Jarod DeAonte Crenshaw, Alcoa Middle School
Jarod is the son of Leondra and Rodrick Crenshaw. He was a beast carrying the football, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 190 pounds. Crenshaw averaged 10 yards per carry and two touchdowns per game. At fullback, he cleared huge holes for running mate Ezekiel Koko. Crenshaw added jaw-dropping tackles from his linebacker spot. With his speed and freakish strength, he will be a force to be reckoned with on the high school level.
Kenny Wayne Dean, Alcoa Middle School
Dean is not only an incredible athlete but an honor roll student. He stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 160 pounds. At split end, he averaged 30 yards per catch, scoring seven touchdowns. In time of need, Dean was a go-to man with his ability to beat anyone man on man. On defense, he played free safety and had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and several breakups. Dean is the son of Kenneth and Aubrey Dean.
Thomas Loy, Alcoa Middle School
At 6-foot, 180 pounds, Loy was an asset on both offense and defense. At defensive end, he was a threat to the opposing quarterbacks. At offensive tackle, he paved the way for his talented teammates. Loy is an honor student and a member of the basketball and baseball teams. Loy is the son of Kathryn and David Loy.
Corey Long, Alcoa Middle School
Long stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 195 pounds. He was a starter on offense and defense and recorded four pancake blocks and was always the guy you knew you could run behind when you needed a few yards. On defense, he averaged four tackles per game. He had five tackles for loss, four sacks and a safety. Long is the son of John and Anne Long.
Tim Koons, Maryville Middle School
Koons is a two-year starter on the offensive line. This season he played center and guard. Koons was also a starter at defensive tackle. He was named a captain at the end of the season by his teammates. Koons has a bright future ahead of him. He is the son of Tim and Beth Anne Koons.
Trace Fuller, Maryville Middle School
Fuller played a significant role on the defensive line as a seventh-grader and was a starter on the offensive line as an eighth-grader. From his linebacker position, he led the team in tackles this season. He was a key blocker for the running and passing game for the Bulldogs, who averaged 30 points per game. He is the son of Tracy and Tina Fuller.
T.J. Kimble, Maryville Middle School
Chosen by his teammates as a captain, Kimble has been a two-way starter as a seventh- and eighth-grader. Offensively, he led the team in rushing (365 yards, five touchdowns), receiving (263 yards, seven scores) and return yards (254 yards, one touchdown). In the last two seasons, 10 of his 23 catches were for touchdowns. This season, Kimble averaged 16.5 yards per carry rushing. As a free safety the last two seasons, he had four interceptions. He is the son of Thelas and Carla Kimble.
Logan Winders, Maryville Middle School
Winders completed 52 percent of his passes at quarterback this season for 579 yards and 10 touchdowns. He connected on three 2-point conversion throws. Winders averaged 83 yards passing per game, rushing 10 times for 42 yards and two 2-point conversions. Against Sevier County in the season opener, Winders threw for 163 yards and three touchdowns. Named a team captain by his teammates, Winders is the son of Joey and Debby Winders.
Jonah Jett, Heritage Middle School
Jett played multiple positions for the Mustangs. On defense, he made key plays from defensive end, linebacker and defensive tackle. He was one of the team’s leading tacklers. On offense, Jett contributed from the backfield, his most notable run a 99-yard, game-winning touchdown against Cocke County which set a school record for both the longest run and scoring play. He is the son of Cindy and Todd Vittetoe and Earl Jett.
Zack Whaley, Heritage Middle School
Whaley made his presence known in every phase of the game. On defense, he led the team in interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. On offense, he was the Mustangs leading scorer where he found the end zone as a running back, quarterback and receiver. On special teams, he took on the roles of punter, kicker and punt returner. He is the son of Thomas and Angie Koehl and Richard and April Whaley.
Freddie Garcia, Union Grove Middle School
Garcia was a great example of quiet leadership. He led by working hard at practice and playing hard in games. Garcia led the Wildcats with 15 touchdowns, rushing for over 800 yards. He also returned punts and kickoffs.
T.J. Satterfield, Union Grove Middle School
Satterfield is a great example of a player who works hard all year to get better at whatever he’s doing. He led all defensive linemen in tackles from his nose guard position. Satterfield was also Union Grove’s best offensive lineman with several pancakes blocks at guard. Satterfield also kicked off, doubling as the player designated to blow up the return team’s wedge.
Lane Bloom, Union Grove Middle School
Bloom is another player who works hard to get better. He is a vocal leader at middle linebacker on defense and at running back on offense. Bloom was one of the Wildcats leading tacklers and second-leading rusher. He also handled long snaps. A coach’s dream, Bloom practices hard, plays hard, leads others and never has to be told something twice.
Tanner Miller, Carpenters Middle School
Miller was a two-year starter for the Cougars at inside linebacker and fullback. He became known as a brutal hitter during his stint at Carpenters and led the Cougars in tackles and big hits in 2008. He finished his career at Carpenters’ all-time leading tackler, rushing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns on offense.
Michael Clune, Carpenters Middle School
Clune played defensive end for Carpenters. He led the team in sacks, tackles for loss and had two fumble recoveries. He was also second on the team in tackles and big hits. Clune is a burner who won the fastest lineman competition at the jamboree and is currently clocked at 4.9 seconds for 40 yards.
Vinnie Hasenstaub, Carpenters Middle School
Hasenstaub made a huge impact for the Cougars in his first season of playing football. He rewrote the Cougars’ record book for wide receivers with 23 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns in 2008. He also had 50 rushing yards and led the team in kick and punt returns. Hasenstaub had three game-winning touchdowns on the season, one each by punt return, reception and interception return.