Seven Volunteers earn region honors

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AJ football honors

By Robert Howey



Seven Andrew Jackson High School football standouts have been named to the All-Region IV-AA team.

Versatile Volunteers’ senior Bobby Delly, who played five different positions, leads the Volunteers’ contingent.

Delly had 38 catches for  388 yards this season and scored four touchdowns. In playing receiver, running back, quarterback and returning kicks, he had 877 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns. On defense, he added six tackles for the Vols.

AJ senior offensive lineman Aaron Payne paced the Vols’ offensive line play in earning all-region honors. He graded 86 percent and posted eight knockdown blocks.

Senior receiver Quincey Grier was also named to the team. He had 342 receiving yards on 23 catches and five touchdowns. He also made 56 tackles and intercepted four passes.

Junior defensive tackle Williams Cunningham led the Andrew Jackson selections on the defensive side.

Cunningham, who was selected to attend the U.S. Army All-American Bowl National Combine in San Antonio, Texas last week, had 81 total tackles, which included 56 primary hits to go with 19 assists.

Cunningham’s solid play included two sacks and four tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries.

Senior Linebacker D.J. McIlwain was also selected for the all-region team with a team-high 126 total tackles, which includes 82 tackles and 28 assists. He had nine tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Senior Chris White, in the Andrew Jackson secondary, compiled 103 tackles, which included 75 tackles and 28 assists.

He added two fumble recoveries.

On offense, White ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns to go with 67 receiving yards and a pair of scores.

Senior Tyler Denkins, AJ’s senior kicker, produced a banner season to reap all-region honors. He held AJ opponents inside the 20-yard line 90 percent of the time with 26 touchbacks. He had two onside kick recoveries and averaged 40 yards per punt.

Denkins was 9-9 on extra points and added a 41-yard field goal.

AJ second-team selections included senior center Stewart Barfield, senior linebacker Ryan Phillips, senior running back-safety Jonathan Brevard and senior kicker Brett Lucas.

The Volunteers, under second-year head coach David Moore, posted a 4-7 record.

The Vols advanced to postseason play, which included a 33-10 road loss to Saluda High School in the first round of the Class AA  Division II Upper State playoffs.