The Southeast Georgia edition of In the Game High School Sports Magazine recently honored football players from 16 high schools around the region.
Bradwell Institute running back senior DeAndre Day and defensive back senior Jordan Portley were selected as offensive and defensive players of the year by coaches and magazine staffers. Liberty County High School quarterback senior J.J. Grant was named Panther offensive player of the year, and junior standout linebacker Raekwon McMillian was Liberty’s defensive player of the year.
All of the schools and their players and coaches were feted Dec. 17, at a banquet in Waycross.
Though Day battled injuries at various points in the season, he still was able to carry the ball for the Tigers. In addition to making several lengthy runs during the season, Day scored off of a 30-yard run against Groves, leading to a 42-0 rout.
“Defensively, Jordan Portley had 12 tackles, a pick and two pass break-ups against Groves, the final game of the year. He also played a strong game against Ware. Jordan has been very consistent all year for us,” Bradwell defensive coordinator Jeff Miller said.
Liberty blue chip linebacker McMillan brought leadership to the Panthers defense.
“A lot of that leadership came from Raekwon. My defense knows I don’t hand out compliments easily, so when I say this, it is not hyperbole. Raekwon is as good as advertised. He is a physical beast. He plays downhill and when he gets there, it becomes a train wreck,” Liberty County defensive coordinator Derek Sills said.
Liberty County head coach Kirk Warner said that Grant provided senior leadership to an offense that struggled with inconsistency and injuries.
“In the latter part of the season, we didn’t know week to week what our injury situation was going to be. J.J. did a good job of controlling the offense and running the ball when he needed to this season,” Warner said.
“We are proud of all of these players in our coverage area. We know how hard they work in the off-season and how hard they play during the season. Considering the four D-1 signees from Camden County and the AAAAA state runner-up Ware County Gators, we definitely have some great high-school football teams in this part of the state,” Southeast Georgia In the Game Publisher Shawn Smoak said.
Six different issues of In the Game High School Sports Magazine are published statewide. The Southeast Georgia Edition, which contains monthly articles on Bradwell, Liberty and Long schools, is available at Flash Foods locations in Liberty and Long counties.