EA’s Sims named 2021 AISA Back of Year by ASWA

Published 4:08 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

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MONTGOMERY — Escambia Academy’s Landon Sims was named the 2021 AISA Back of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Thursday.

Sims was one of three finalists for the award, and was honored along with other backs and lineman of the year at the Mr. Football luncheon banquet at the Montgomery Renaissance. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association sponsored the event.

“I couldn’t have accomplished this without God, my parents,” Sims said, adding that his teammates helped him as well. “With out them (teammates), and the offensive line blocking, and wide receivers catching and Bubba (Nettles) running the ball, I wouldn’t be up here.”

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Sims, who was selected as a first-team athlete on the AISA All-State football team, carried the ball 123 times for 1,003 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was 66-of-117 for 1,201 yards and 16 scores in the air.

Defensively, Sims had 73 tackles and caught six interceptions.

Throughout the season, Sims played a good game on the gridiron.

He said the moment when he realized he was going to have a year was during big, team win over Chipley, Fla. EA defeated CHS 22-7 on Oct. 1, 2021.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “That was a point we all felt like we were pretty good.”

Sims said not only did his teammates help him succeed, but the Cougars’ coaching staff contributed in him winning the back of the year award.

“The coaches were great,” he said. “We just had a great program. Without any of the, you couldn’t be up here.”

Thompson’s Ryan Peppins was named the state’s Mr. Football by the ASWA.

Peppins, a senior receiver, helped his team win a third straight Class 7A championship this season. He totaled 80 receptions for 1,379 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Warriors, who finished 13-1.

His career featured 172 receptions for 2,755 yards and 43 touchdowns, plus 326 return yards with a TD and 11 rushes for 94 yards.

Peppins was also the 7A back of the year, marking the fifth straight season that a Thompson player has won that award.

Peppins and teammates Jeremiah Alexander and Conner Harrell were on the Super All-State list, which recognizes the top 12 players regardless of classification.

Thompson is just the second team in ASWA All-State history to have three Super All-State players in the same season. In 2005, Homewood had David Ross, Austin Hubbard and Tim Hawthorne make it.



Mr. Football

Ryan Peppins, Thompson


Backs of the year

7A: Ryan Peppins, Thompson

6A: Earl Woods, Hueytown

5A: DeMarcus Lacey, Pleasant Grove

4A: Walter Taylor III, Jackson

3A: Jack Hayes, Piedmont

2A: Logan Washburn, Cleveland

1A: Brayden Kyle, Decatur Heritage

AISA: Landon Sims, Escambia Academy


Linemen of the year

7A: Jeremiah Alexander, Thompson

6A: Trevon McAlpine, Saraland

5A: Khurtiss Perry, Pike Road

4A: Michael Towner, Vigor

3A: TJ Dudley, Catholic-Montgomery

2A: Caden Story, Lanett

1A: Kedrick Brown, Brantley

AISA: Kross Colley, Chambers Academy


Super All-State

(top players regardless of school’s classification)

Ryan Peppins, Thompson

Earl Woods, Hueytown

Khurtiss Perry, Pike Road

Jeremiah Alexander, Thompson

Will Stokes, Madison Academy

Walter Taylor III, Jackson

Emmanuel Henderson, Geneva Co.

Conner Harrell, Thompson

Jack Hayes, Piedmont

Khalib Johnson, Clay-Chalkville

TJ Dudley, Catholic-Montgomery

Justice Finkley, Hewitt-Trussville




2021: Ryan Peppins, Thompson receiver

2020: GaQuincy McKinstry, Pinson Valley receiver/defensive back

2019: Kristian Story, Lanett quarterback

2018: Bo Nix, Pinson Valley quarterback

2017: Asa Martin, Austin running back

2016: La’Damian Webb, Beauregard running back

2015: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort quarterback


2014: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy running back

2013: Racean Thomas, Oxford running back

2012: Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery quarterback

2011: T.J. Yeldon, Daphne running back

2010: Jamal Golden, Wetumpka quarterback


2009: Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County quarterback

2008: Clint Moseley, Leroy quarterback

2007: Julio Jones, Foley wide receiver

2006: Larry Smith, Prattville quarterback

2005: Andre Smith, Huffman offensive lineman


2004: Jarod Bryant, Hoover quarterback

2003: Chris Nickson, Pike County quarterback

2002: JaMarcus Russell, Williamson quarterback

2001: Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville quarterback

2000: Carnell Williams, Etowah running back


1999: Cory Whisenant, Springville running back

1998: DeMarco McNeil, Blount defensive lineman

1997: Mac Campbell, Alexandria running back

1996: Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa running back

1995: Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis tight end


1994: Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley running back

1993: Thomas Banks, West Jefferson running back

1992: Freddie Kitchens, Etowah quarterback

1991: Robert Davis, Homewood running back

1990: David Palmer, Jackson-Olin wide receiver


1989: Steven Coleman, Pike County running back

1988: Darrell “Lectron” Williams, Vigor running back

1987: Robert Jones, Parker running back

1986: Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery running back

1985: Pierre Goode, Hazlewood running back


1984: Roderick Green, Gardendale wide receiver

1983: Freddy Weygand, Emma Sansom wide receiver

1982: Tommy Compton, Vigor quarterback