Five RCS football players have been nominated as semifinalists for the Mr. Football Award – a TSSAA award sponsored by the Tennessee Titans which recognizes Tennessee’s best high school football players.
- Division I Class 6A semifinalists are:
- Justin Brown – Blackman High School
- Arion Carter – Smyrna High School
- Jack Risner – Blackman High School
- Kade Hewitt – Oakland High School
Additionally, Jacob Taylor (Oakland High School) has been nominated as semifinalist for kicker of the year.
Finalists for the award will be revealed Tuesday, Nov. 22. Nominees were selected based on their 2022 football season performance, academic performance and personal character. Athletes were nominated by the media as well as coaches.
If selected as finalists, players will attend an awards ceremony at Nissan Stadium.
Each school spoke about not only the physical aptitude, but the academic prowess and personal character of each nominee:
Justin Brown and Jack Risner (Blackman):
“I am thrilled for Jack and Justin to both be nominated as semi-finalists for Mr. Football. This is the highest award that you can win in our state, and to have two of five semi-finalists being teammates, that is pretty amazing. This is the first time in school history that two players have been semi-finalists. Both Justin and Jack are great players on and off the field. They come from a great set of parents and are very deserving of this recognition.” – Head Coach Chandler Tygard
“We were ecstatic to learn that both Jack and Justin had been nominated as semi-finalists for Mr. Football. Both young men exemplify the qualities we expect from our student-athletes: solid character, strong academics, and extraordinary work ethic. They are not only great students and great athletes, but they are also great teammates. That is important to us. They have excelled under the coaching of an outstanding staff and within a highly structured program designed to maximize the skill set of each player.” – Principal Justin Smith
Arion Carter (Smyrna):
“Arion is a special young man in many ways. He is mature beyond his years and has been a leader in our program for 4 years. He played quite a bit for us as a freshman and has been an impact player for us ever since. He has been a blessing to our football team and program, and I know wherever he chooses to go to school, they will be getting a gem of a young man.” – Head Coach Matt Williams
“Arion Carter is the complete student/athlete a combination of scholar, gentleman, and compete beast on the football field. When you dream of the perfect representation of a Smyrna Bulldog-Arion Carter is what you find.” – Principal Sherri Southerland
Kade Hewitt and Jacob Taylor (Oakland):
“Kade and Jacob are very deserving. I’m glad to see their hard work paying off. Both of these guys get it done on the field and in the classroom.” – Head Coach Kevin Creasy