The 2021 football season proved to be another banner year in Oconee County.
All four of the county’s football teams enjoyed successful seasons, with each of them qualifying for the state playoffs. All of them also reached at least the second round of the postseason.
Given the teams’ success, each of them received numerous region awards.
Prince Avenue Christian School reached the Class A-Private state championship game for a second season in a row. Though the Wolverines fell short of defending their 2020 state title, their 2021 season ended with a 13-2 record and featured a 13-game winning streak.
The Wolverines also repeated as Region 8-A-Private champions.
Because of their dominance in region play, they brought home some of the region’s top honors.
Quarterback Aaron Philo earned the offensive player of the year award. Bailey Stockton, who played at receiver and defensive back, was named athlete of the year. Bryson Franklin received the kicker of the year award.
Finally, Prince Avenue Christian head coach Greg Vandagriff was designated the region’s coach of the year.
The Wolverines’ list of honorees did not end there.
Mac Bradley, Ethan Christian, Elijah Dewitt, Nic Hurley, Mason Goodyear and Austin Head were all named to the first team offense.
Uriah Howard, Luke Lanier and Josh Britt found themselves on the region’s first team defense list.
Jake Atha and Will Frost were named to the second team offense while Ethan Garner, Jake Hathaway, Wade McCormick and Aidan Harter were selected to the second team defense.
Jackson Zittrouer, Mason Durning and Will Elrod each received spots on the honorable mention list.
North Oconee High School’s football team had its best season to date.
The Titans overcame a losing record in the early part of the season and scored an upset victory over Jefferson to win the Region 8-AAAA championship.
From there, North Oconee launched an extended playoff run. The Titans’ season ended in the semifinal round just one victory shy of a state title game appearance.
Due to their success this season, several Titans earned Region 8-AAAA awards after the season finished.
Khalil Barnes, who shined at wide receiver and defensive back, won the region player of the year award.
North Oconee head coach Tyler Aurandt was named the region’s coach of the year.
Dominic Elder Jr., K.J. Moon, Bo Stanley and Jayden Williams received spots on the all-region offensive roster.
Cole Davidson, Luke Kincaid, Ryland Laturell, Jack Fabris and Brett Biga brought home all-region defensive honors.
J.J. Poole was named to the all-region special teams list.
Additionally, Brooks Thompson received a spot on the honorable mentions list.
Oconee County High School’s football team finished second in its region.
The Warriors went 10-2 including a 4-1 record in Region 8-AAA games. They reached the second round of the playoffs.
Jake Johnson earned the offensive player of the year award for the region. Whit Weeks received defensive player of the year distinction.
Jacob Wright, Jaquette Lester and Thomas Waters represented the Warriors on the region’s first team offensive list.
Cam Eldridge, Billy Lewis and Darius Johnson Jr. received spots on the all-region first team defense.
C.J. Jones, Jack Ward, Frank Hailey and Jason Berko were named to the second team offense roster while Samson Stearns was named to the second team defense.
Marquise Lester received an all-region honorable mention selection.
Athens Academy finished second in Region 8-A-Private.
The Spartans reached the state playoffs, where they won a thrilling overtime game against Mount Pisgah Christian before their season ended in round two.
Johnerio Holt earned the region defensive player of the year award.
Sam Bush, Tre Hawkins, Asa Drudge, Pratt Ferguson, Taylor Muir and J’Rico Wright earned selections to the all-region first team offense.
Sam Johnson, Jimmy Humphries, Jeremiah Wingfield and Wally Terrell were named to the all-region first team defense.
Gio Newsome, K.J. Whitehead, Jackson Hutton and Julian Attaway were given second team offense honors and Reid Bangle, Robert Reynolds and Jake Williams received second team defense and special teams awards.
Sam Laughlin, Jamari Welch, Austin McGee, Tristan Puckett and Will Warner all received honorable mention selections.