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HILLSVILLE –– James Lanning made a big impact on each game by making lots of big impacts in each game.
With his ability to find his way to the football and make the play once he got there, Lanning left his mark on the Southwest District and earned the league’s defensive player of the year award in all-district voting, which was released last week.
A 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior, Lanning was one of the leading tacklers in Southwest Virginia, finishing the season with 83 unassisted tackles and 32 assists. He also had nine tackles for loss during the season.
Lanning, who was also chosen as a first-team all-Region IV linebacker, was one of five Cavaliers who combined to fill six first-team spots on the all-district team. Joining him were Cody Mabe, Jason Bolen, Zack Surratt and Drew McCraw, a first-team choice on both sides of the ball.
Mabe led the Cavaliers with 829 yards on 104 rushes, averaging 8.0 yards per carry, and finished his career with a 200-yard effort against Graham. The 6-2, 170-pound senior, who had come up through the Cavalier program as a lineman, also scored 10 touchdowns on the season.
Surratt, a 5-10, 153-pound junior, was a first-team defensive back after coming up with six interceptions on the year.
The Cavaliers also had two first-team choices on the offensive line. McCraw, a 6-1, 258-pound senior tackle, and Bolen, a 6-foot, 194-pound senior guard, were key components of Carroll County’s power rushing attack that led the way for three runningbacks who combined for more than 2,000 yards.
McCraw was also a first-team pick on the defensive line after finishing the year with 52 solo tackles, 19 assists and five tackles for loss.
Joel Elswick, who led Richlands to the Region IV, Division 3 championship, and Tazewell runningback Matt Muncy shared the SWD’s offensive player of the year award.
Second-team all-district selections for Carroll County were Ben Mullins (center), Mickey Quesenberry (guard), Lanning (tight end), Mason King (kicker), Mabe (defensive end), Matt Fink (defensive line), Dillon Caviness (linebacker), Jason Bolen (linebacker), Lucas Marshall (defensive back) and Ulisis Moreno (defensive back).
Earning honorable mention status were Blake Bowman, Glen Love, Kyle Wengerd and Ryan Frazier.
In all-Region voting, Patrick County runningback John Harris was voted the region’s offensive player of the year and Bassett’s Andrew Miller picked up the defensive player of the year award. Richlands earned Division 3 coaching staff of the year honors, as did the Pulaski County staff in Division 4.
First team offense
Center – Alex Marrs (Graham); Guard – Jason Bolen (Carroll County), Tony Barreras (Graham), Michael Briscoe (Marion), Andrew Nadler (Abingdon); Tackle – Bruiser Moore (Tazewell), Steven Kelly (Abingdon), Drew McCraw (Carroll County); Tight end – Torren Byrd (Graham); Wide receiver – Christian Hearl (Richlands), Cody Justus (Grundy), Cole Manning (Abingdon), Brandon Pauley (Tazewell); Runningback – Matt Muncy (Tazewell), Dominique Lane (Graham), Brock Hannah (Marion), Braden Coleman (Abingdon), Cody Mabe (Carroll County); Quarterback – Joel Elswick (Richlands); Kick returner – Matt Muncy (Tazewell); Placekicker – Clark Case (Abingdon).
First team defense
Defensive end – Chuck Payne (Richlands), Stephen Kelly (Abingdon), Drew McCraw (Carroll County); defensive tackle – Roy Christian (Richlands), Michael Briscoe (Marion), Matt Arnold (Abingdon), Shaquille McDonald (Tazewell); Linebacker – James Lanning (Carroll County), Derek Jackson (Richlands), Tony Barreras (Graham), Zac Mitchell (Abingdon), Tyler Nicely (Marion), Andrew Rhudy (Tazewell; Defensive back – Christian Hearl (Richlands), Jonathan Corner (Tazewell), Zack Surratt (Carroll County), Austin Bokish (Graham), T.J. Rasnick (Tazewell); Punter – David Marrs (Graham).
Offensive player of the year
Joel Elswick, Richlands
Defensive player of the year
James Lanning, Carroll County
Coaching staff of the year
Greg Mance and Richlands staff
Second team offense
Center – Taber Roberts (Richlands), Jordan Baldwin (Tazewell), Ben Mullins (Carroll County), Matt Arnold (Abingdon); Guard – Nathan Mitchell (Richlands), Michael Elkins (Tazewell), Steven Barrett (Tazewell), Demetry Sawyers (Marion), Mickey Quesenberry (Carroll County), Nick Noland (Abingdon); Tackle – Eric Stiltner (Richlands), Darius Carper (Graham), Cameron Young (Tazewell), Josh Halsey (Graham); Tight end – James Lanning (Carroll County), Steven Akers (Marion), Cody Bartkowski (Richlands), Casey Barreras (Graham); Wide receiver – Bradley Strong (Richlands), Jason Dotson (Marion), Blayke Wilson (Richlands), Zack Mitchell (Abingdon), Cory Beavers (Tazewell); Runningback – Taylor Sizemore (Richlands), Zack Mickel (Graham), Dustin Dean (Tazewell), Caleb Parsons (Marion); Quarterback – Cody Lockhart (Tazewell), Jacob Hess (Abingdon), David Marrs (Graham); Placekicker – Mason King (Carroll County); Kick returner – Dominique Lane (Graham), Brock Hannah (Marion), Nathaniel Funk (Abingdon).
Second team defense
Defensive end – Will Lowe (Richlands), Steven Akers (Marion), Brandon Flanner (Tazewell), Cody Bartkowski (Richlands), Zach Pauley (Tazewell), Robert Dean (Abingdon), Cody Mabe (Carroll County), Casey Barreras (Graham); Defensive line – Britt Altizer (Richlands), Bruiser Moore (Tazewell), Matt Fink (Carroll County), Demetry Sawyers (Marion); Linebacker – Cody Thomas (Richlands), Dillon Caviness (Carroll County), Ben Coleman (Abingdon), Eugene Hilton (Tazewell), Zack Mickel (Graham), Cody Justus (Grundy), Tanner Howell (Graham), Jason Bolen (Carroll County), Princeton Graham (Marion); Defensive back – Landon Furry (Graham), Garrett Johnson (Marion), Taylor Sizemore (Richlands), Joey Dotson (Marion), Alexander Nadler (Abingdon), Lucas Marshall (Carroll County), Alex Nelson (Marion), Cole Manning (Abingdon), Ethain Keene (Richlands), Ulisis Moreno (Carroll County), Brett Johnson (Marion), Bradley Strong (Richlands), T.J. Rasnick (Tazewell), Nathaniel Funk (Abingdon); Punter – Reese Strong (Richlands), Colton Cook (Tazewell).
Abingdon – Josh Fannon, Bradley Simmons.
Carroll County – Blake Bowman, Glen Love, Kyle Wengerd, Ryan Frazier.
Graham – Cole Davis, Skyler Bunker, Kyle Harris, Cole Cornwell, Josh Muncy.
Grundy – Josh Lindsey, John Kelly, Ryan Mitchell, Ben Rife, Tanner Marshall, Tanner McClanahan, Ethan Owens.
Marion – Zeb Rhodes, Matt Rakes, Nick Groseclose, Logan McClure.
Richlands – Eli Hearl, Hunter Brown, William Hilbert, Jack Vance, Cody Lee, Chad Davis, Brandon Olmstead, Todd Smith.
Tazewell – Justin Brewster, Luke Allison, Mac McGuire, Taviaz Wilborn, Steven Bowles, Josh Mitchem.