Boyd, Foster headline All-Messenger Football Team

The inaugural All-Messenger Football Team, presented by Troy Bank and Trust, is headlined by a number of All-State representatives and area playmakers.

Nearly all of the football teams in The Messenger’s coverage area saw year-over-year improvements, including historic turnarounds at both Pike County High School and Charles Henderson High School. At Charles Henderson, the Trojans went from a 2-win team in 2021 to finishing with 12 wins and runner-up in Class 5A. Pike County was winless in 2021 and went on to advance all the way to the Class 3A Quarterfinals. While Goshen and Zion Chapel missed out on the playoffs, the Eagles went from just one win in the past two years to a 6-4 record. The Rebels also improved from two wins in 2020 and 2021 combined to three in 2022. Despite coaching and player departures at Pike Lib, the Patriots were able to come away with three wins with one of the youngest teams in the state.

Pike County’s Ian Foster is the All-Messenger Most Valuable Player on the season, while Charles Henderson’s Jywon Boyd is the Offensive Player of the Year and Trojan Zion Grady is the Defensive Player of the Year. It’s not often that two football programs in the same are turned around as starkly as both Pike County and Charles Henderson were this season, making both first-year coach Mark Hurt (Pike County) and second-year coach Quinn Hambrite worthy candidates for Coach of the Year. Hambrite, though, helped guide his Trojans to their first appearance in the Class 5A State Championship – just one season after winning two games – as such is the All-Messenger Coach of the Year.

On the offensive side of the All-Messenger Team, at quarterback is Charles Henderson’s Parker Adams, who threw for 2,580 yards and 28 touchdowns, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes as he guided the Trojan offense. At running back, Goshen junior Jamari McClure was the only player in the area to surpass 1,000 yards rushing. McClure finished the season with 1,173 yards and 16 touchdowns on 121 carries, while also hauling in 12 catches for 354 yards and seven more scores. Pike County’s Nemo Williams also came within arm’s length of 1,000 yards as he tallied 908 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Charles Henderson is well-represented on the All-Messenger Team. From left, is Defensive Player of the Year Zion Grady, Coach of the Year Quinn Hambrite and Offensive Player of the Year Jywon Boyd.

Receiver was a position loaded with talent in area. Charles Henderson’s Stephon Mosley grabbed 40 catches for 677 yards and four touchdowns this season, while Goshen’s Tyler McLendon hauled in 20 passes for 571 yards and eight touchdowns. At one of the “athlete” positions, Boyd led the area in receiving with 60 catches for 1,218 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for 342 yards and two more scores, threw a touchdown pass, returned three kicks for touchdowns and scored one defensive touchdown. At the other “athlete” spot, Pike County’s Foster grabbed 38 receptions for 895 yards and 19 touchdowns along with rushing for 199 yards and two scores and he returned three kicks for touchdowns and scored three more defensive touchdowns.

The All-Messenger’s offensive line is represented by Charles Henderson’s Benton Dunn and Connor Jones, Pike Liberal Arts’ Cade Renfroe, Zion Chapel’s Hayden Walden and Pike County’s Joseph Wilkerson and Keith Williams. Dunn led the CHHS offense as the team’s center, as he and Jones helped guide the way for a running game that averaged 150 yards per game and an offense that gained nearly 350 yards per game total. Keith Williams earned a 90 percent grade on offense, tallying 75 pancakes and allowing zero sacks on the season, while Wilkerson boasted an 85 percent grade on the line with 65 pancakes. Renfroe started all 10 games on the offensive line for Pike Lib and was the team’s leading blocker, as well as being a leader on defense. Walden earned an 85.4 percent grade and tallied 10 pancakes and eight knockdowns on the season.

The All-Messenger defense starts were all great defenses start, up front. Charles Henderson’s Grady, who finished off the season with 106 tackles, a state-leading 35 tackles-for-loss and 19 sacks, headlines the defensive line. Teammate Zarion Mack was a force in the middle of the Trojan defense and he ended the season with 72 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss and five sacks. Pike County’s brother duo of Keith and Nemo Williams were the Bulldogs’ leaders on the defensive line. Keith Williams finished the season with 39 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss and three sacks, while Nemo Williams earned 52 tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks.

All three of the All-Messenger linebackers surpassed 100 tackles on the season. Trojan Damien Hart led all area tacklers with 156 tackles along with six tackles-for-loss and an interception. Pike County’s Markelis Hobdy led the Bulldog defense with 104 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss and three interceptions. Pike Lib’s Cade Renfroe also earned 102 tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss and five sacks.

In the secondary, Boyd and Foster once again lead the way. Foster tallied 58 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, returned three of his area-lead six interceptions for touchdowns and had 12 pass breakups. Boyd also finished the season with 71 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack, six interceptions, a fumble return for a touchdown and three pass breakups. Pike Lib’s KC Bradford led the Patriot defense with 122 tackles and 24 tackles-for-loss. Bradford also tied Boyd and Foster for the area lead in interceptions with six. Charles Henderson’s Mario Davenport rounds out the secondary with 53 tackles and seven pass breakups. Davenport also tied for the lead in interceptions in the area with six.

The All-Messenger Most Valuable Player is Ian Foster.

Also at “athlete” are Zion Chapel’s Morgan Sanders and Goshen’s Szemerick Andrews. Sanders finished the season with 43 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, one sack and one interception. He also led the Rebel offense with 322 passing yards and four touchdowns along with 967 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, while returning 12 kickoffs for 219 yards. Andrews tallied 55 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception return for a touchdown on defense. He also rushed for 878 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense.

Nik Peerson was the area’s leader in both punting and kicking and is the only two-time All-State representative in the area on special teams. Peerson averaged 41 yards per punt this season with a 4.2-secodn hang time. Peerson also converted 12-of-20 field goal attempts with a long of 48 yards, while he was 28-of-38 on PATs.

Foster wasn’t afforded many opportunities on special teams as team’s quickly decided kicking away from him was their best options but when he got his hands on the ball he made the most of it. Foster averaged 22.8 yards per punt return and an eye-popping 57.5 yards per kickoff return. He had just four kickoff returns for 232 yards and two touchdowns along with six punt returns for 137 yards and a touchdown.

Making Honorable Mention on the All-Messenger Team, as well, are Pike County quarterback Omari Barrow, Charles Henderson running back Zach Coleman, Charles Henderson offensive lineman Zamir Caffie and Philip Scott, Zion Chapel offensive lineman Hayden Walden, Zion Chapel linebacker Brayden Benbow, Pike Lib defensive lineman Corey Jones, Charles Henderson defensive lineman Jalen Suddith, Goshen linebacker Andrew Galloway, Pike Lib linebacker Davis Kilcrease, Charles Henderson linebacker Qua Scott and Zion Chapel defensive back Jackson Adcock.

QB: Parker Adams, Charles Henderson High School
RB: Jamari McClure, Goshen High School
RB: Nemo Williams, Pike County High School
OL: Keith Williams, Pike County High School
OL: Benton Dunn, Charles Henderson High School
OL: Connor Jones, Charles Henderson High School
OL: Cade Renfroe, Pike Liberal Arts School
OL: Joseph Wilkerson, Pike County High School
OL: Hayden Walden, Zion Chapel High School
WR: Stephon Mosley, Charles Henderson High School
WR: Tyler McLendon, Goshen High School
ATH: Jywon Boyd, Charles Henderson High School
ATH: Ian Foster, Pike County High School

DL: Zion Grady, Charles Henderson High School
DL: Keith Williams, Pike County High School
DL: Zarion Mack, Charles Henderson High School
DL: Nemo Williams, Pike County High School
LB: Cade Renfroe, Pike Liberal Arts School
LB: Damien Hart, Charles Henderson High School
LB: Markelis Hobdy, Pike County High School
DB: Mario Davenport, Charles Henderson High School
DB: Jy’won Boyd, Charles Henderson High School
DB: KC Bradford, Pike Liberal Arts School
DB: Ian Foster, Pike County High School
ATH: Szemerick Andrews, Goshen High School
ATH: Morgan Sanders, Zion Chapel

K/P: Nik Peerson, Charles Henderson High School
KR: Ian Foster, Pike County High School

QB: Omari Barrow, Pike County High School
RB: Zach Coleman, Charles Henderson High School
OL: Zamir Caffie, Charles Henderson High School
OL: Philip Scott, Charles Henderson High School
DL: Jalen Suddith, Charles Henderson High School
LB: Andrew Galloway, Goshen High School
LB: Brayden Benbow, Zion Chapel High School
LB: Corey Jones, Pike Liberal Arts School
LB: Qua Scott, Charles Henderson High School
DB: Jackson Adcock, Zion Chapel High School

COACH OF THE YEAR: Quinn Hambrite, Charles Henderson High School
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jy’won Body, Charles Henderson High School
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Zion Grady, Charles Henderson High School
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Ian Foster, Pike County High School