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Defensive Player of the Year Jani Norwoof of Eastern Randolpj

All-Randolph County Football Team

As this past high school football season progressed, it looked very similar to previous seasons. Eastern Randolph and Randleman were going to battle for the Piedmont Athletic Conference title, Southwestern Randolph and Providence Grove were going to be contenders and Trinity, Wheatmore and Asheboro were looking for giant strides in their pro-grams. 


ER did indeed capture the PAC title with a thrilling 22-21 win over Randle-man before recording three state 1-A playoff wins to reach the West Regional semifinals for the second straight season. Just like in 2022, an exceptionally talent-ed Mount Airy team, which would go on to capture its second straight state title, ousted the Wildcats. And like the year before, ER had a second-half lead in that contest they ultimately fell in. 


Randleman recorded a first-round playoff win while SWR, PG and THS all qualified, but fell in the opening round. 


There was plenty of reason for optimism at WHS and AHS as both narrowed the gap between themselves and confer-ence opponents. 


With the conclusion of the 2023 season, The Randolph Hub would like to announce the Randolph County 
All-County Football Team. A player had to be nominated by his head coach to be eligible.


Offensive Player of the Year: Tyshaun Goldston, RHS 

Defenses centered on the Tigers’ wide receiver but very few could ever stop him. He finished with 52 catches for 1,269 yards and 18 touchdowns. His leaping ability and athleticism made him one of the top players on the field every week


Defensive Player of the Year: Jani Norwood, ERHS 

Rarely has a high school player com-bined strength, speed, football knowledge and pure power like Norwood has this season. Although 76 percent of the plays were run away from Norwood, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder recorded 124 tackles, including 61 for loss. He had nine pass deflections, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 33 quarterback hurries. He is an early enrollee at UNC and is heading there in January. He will be representing North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl.


Coach  of the Year: Brian Hughes and Shane Timmons, RHS 

The Tigers rallied around a most unique situation as Hughes took over for Simmons as head coach while the latter dealt with a serious family issue. Through all the adversity and questions, RHS cap-tured its first nine games before falling by one point in the PAC title game. Keeping this team focused was certainly a difficult chore, but it was done and the Tigers enjoyed another spectacular season



CARTER REVELLE (ER) — A finalist for the Offensive player of the Year Award, the senior QB transferred in and was every bit as good as advertised, guiding a high-scoring offense that generated an average of 38 points per game. He finished with 2,728 yards passing and 708 yards on the ground for 38 total touchdowns. 

LUCAS SMITH (ER) — A physical runner who was automatic from inside the 5. He finished the year with 1,319 yards for an average of 7.5 yards per carry. Smith finished with 27 touchdowns and was a solid blocker as well.  

NICAH TAYLOR (ER) — Taylor rarely left the field for the Wildcats and had an incredible season with 1,432 yards and 24 touchdowns as a receiver. He was often the focal point of opposing defenses but used his length and athleticism to score big touchdowns throughout the season. A key contributor on special teams as well. 

LADARYAN SPINKS (ER) — A three-year starter on the offensive and defensive line, he graded the best from a very talented OL. A little undersized at 190 pounds, he used his football IQ and great technique to dominate. 

KOBE WALKER (ER) — An incredible athlete with speed and toughness, he averaged 8.5 tackles per game as a fresh-man and provided the Wildcats with solid depth at the running back position. He is going to have a bright future.  

TROY GREEN (ER) — A tight end the past two seasons, Green switched to the OL for his senior season and excelled. A true leader on the field and in the classroom, he definitely proved to be a “team player” and an important part of the ER offense.

ADONYE HERBERT (ER) — An outside linebacker with speed, quickness and most importantly a nose for the football. A three-year starter, he finished with 78 tackles, including 25 for loss. He had 4 sacks, 4 interceptions and 5 touchdowns. 

THOMAS DOBIAS (RHS) — A finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Dobias recorded 119 tackles, including 20 for a loss. He had four sacks and six interceptions, blocked two kicks and scored a defensive touchdown. 

JOHN KIRKPATRICK (RHS) — A sophomore, Kirkpatrick stepped into the starting QB role and finished with 2,282 yards passing, completing nearly 64 percent of his passes. He threw for 32 touchdowns. 

EDISON HERNANDEZ (RHS) — Hernandez was the workhorse for the Tigers as he cracked the 1,000-yard plateau with 1,038 and 13 touchdowns. He did not fumble the ball in 166 carries. 

GREG PRICE (RHS) — Price was asked to change positions in the lineback-ing core and did so without a problem. He truly epitomized what a team player is. He contributed 13 tackles for loss and 54 tackles. 

TATE ANDREWS (RHS) — Andrews was a force on defense, registering 98 tackles for the Tigers. He recorded 12 tackles for loss.

JONATHAN STOKES (RHS) — The Tigers had a stout running game and Stokes, an all-conference lineman, was a big reason why. He led the team in pan-cake blocks with 43. 

LOGAN FOX (PG) — It would be hard to find a player in the county pound for pound better than Fox. A fiery ball carrier, he rushed for 1,135 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns while adding five receptions.

CAMERON NORTON (PG) — He may not be the biggest defender, but his 95 total tackles, including 36 unassisted, speaks volumes. He also added four tackles for loss and a forced fumble. 

BRADY COLLINS (PG) — He finished with 113 tack-les for the Patriots, including 64 of the solo variety. He had six tackles for loss, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one sack. 

CARSON JONES (PG) — PG and the county were filled with impressive kickers and Jones was one of them. The Patriots were blessed with two solid kickers with Jones handling kickoff duties and long field goal at-tempts. He had a punt of 56 yards and four inside the 20. He registered 11 touchbacks and hit on every PAT. He had four field goals with a long of 44 yards. 

NATHAN ELLIS (SWR) — Ellis was a workhorse for the Cougars, playing offense, defense and on special teams. He lined up in a multitude of positions on offense and was matched against the opposing team’s top receiver on defense. He scored nine TDs and had 13 pass breakups. He also had two kick returns for a score. 

COLTON LAW (SWR) — A three-year starter who led the defense. He finished with 81 tackles, three sacks, seven tackles for loss and had two interceptions. He also rushed for more than 200 yards and had more than 100 yards receiving, including two scores. 

OWEN WHELAN (SWR) — Playing multiple positions for the Cougars to capitalize on his talents, he played QB and RB on offense and was the best blocker on the team. Defensively, he made key plays on both the DL and LB. He had 41 tackles, six tackles for loss, two touchdowns and added 447 yards rushing and a score. 

JENTEZEN COX (SWR) — The senior rushed for more than 800 yards this season and played on special teams as well. A hard worker, he finished with four touch-downs, 21 tackles and four breakups. 

DOMINIC PAYNE (THS) — Despite being injured, the scholar-athlete finished with 1,110 yards rushing and 321 yards receiving. He also completed 15 of 30 passes at quarterback for 358 yards and four TDs, playing running back, quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker. He scored 15 touchdowns and recorded 36 tackles. 

JACOB HODGES (THS) — A captain for the Bulldogs, he had 797 yards in receiving yards and returned kickoffs and punts. One of the hardest workers on the team, he is a member of the student council, FCA and helps with Bulldog Buddies.  

XAVIER HORTON (THS) — The middle linebacker led the Bulldogs with 102 tackles with nine tackles for loss and five sacks. Injured early in the season, he returned and made an instant impact. He was a coach on the field.

JONATHAN KELLY (WHS) — He was a multiple threat on offense for the Warriors, rushing for 755 yards and adding 139 receiving yards. He scored 13 touch-downs.

ASHTIN BENNETT (WHS) — He was a two-way player for Wheatmore, but stood out as the anchor of the defensive line. He recorded 51 tackles and 13 sacks, while forcing a fumble and recovering one. 

MAX SMITH (WHS) — He was a two-way player for Wheatmore and handled all the kicking duties as well. He had 38 tackles, 223 yards of offensive production, five PATs and two scores. 

ELIJAH WOODLE (AHS) — One of the top receivers in the county, the speedster had 47 receptions for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a definite deep threat on every play.

AMARE GODWIN (AHS) — Another talented receiver for the Blue Comets, he was on the receiving end of 37 passes for 584 yards and five touchdowns.  

LUKE HUGHES (AHS) — The junior finished the season with a team-high 89 tackles with three tackles for loss. 

Honorable Mention:

Will Stalker (ER), Julian Brooks (ER), Ray West (ER), Deshawn Shamburger (ER), Amari Ferdna (RHS), Bryson Atkins (RHS), Chase Farlow (RHS), Jonathan Sampson (RHS), Daylan Atkins (RHS), Tanner Gneiting (RHS), Bryson Atkins (RHS), Tucker Batten (PG), James Ellis (PG), Jayten Beasley (PG), Evan Stepp (THS), Jason Brown (THS), Tyler Adcock (THS), Griffin Dills (THS), Kempton Reed (SWR), Logan Laughlin (AHS), Aiden Robinson (AHS), Boone Hinesley (AHS), Quincy Lee (AHS), Ben Luck (AHS).