All-Stars shine on gridiron

Published 9:15 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

It’s that time of year again folks. Time to announce The Atmore Advance’s 2011 All-Star team.

If you are new to our paper, then you’ll quickly learn that the All-Star team is composed of players from the three teams in our coverage area, which includes Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School and Northview High School in Bratt, Fla.

Each of those schools produced several players worthy of being selected for our All-Stars, but the field was narrowed down to 23 players with two of those players being selected as our offensive and defensive players of the year.

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This year, Northview and Escambia Academy led the way for the most selections because of their impressive seasons.

Northview made it to the semifinals of the state semifinals of the FHSAA playoffs, while the Cougars push to the semifinals of the AISA playoffs.

Though Escambia County didn’t make it to the playoffs, the Blue Devils did have a successful season finishing 5-5 just missing out on the postseason.

Cougars senior running back Jaylen Henry has been selected as this year’s Atmore Advance Offensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season after putting up another year of strong statistics. Henry finished with 1,579 yards and 30 total touchdowns.

This is his third time n the All-Area team after making it as a sophomore and junior prior to this year.

On the other side of the ball, Escambia County was holding the Atmore Advance’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Senior defensive tackle Tyler Nero, also a two-time winner, was the leader for the Blue Devils blowing up offensive lines beginning in the T.R. Miller game and continuing his domination through ECHS’s final game against Baldwin County. Nero finished the season with 73 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Those stats look even more incredible after seeing him get double teamed and sometimes triple teamed by opponents.

Nero will graduate in May, but he will take his talents to Auburn University where he has verball committed.

An All-Star team is nothing without a coach.

This year selecting the Coach of the Year was difficult because of the tremendous jobs done by Chiefs head coach Sid Wheatley and Cougars head coach Heath Gibson.

Wheatley was selected for the honor by navigating his team to a district championship and appearance in the semifinals.

He gave the Chiefs something to believe in and was able to push them to be the best they could be.

For that, he has earned the right to be called The Atmore Advance’s Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to Wheatley, Henry, Nero and our All-Stars.

Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at