Afam, Laney headline all-RRC football team
MONROE — Emmitt Afam did a little of everything for Cuthbertson High’s football team during the 2012 season.
Afam, a senior receiver, had 49 catches for 920 yards and 12 touchdowns — both Union County highs. He also ran for 312 yards and seven scores, and recorded four more TDs on either punt or kickoff returns.
In a loss to Forest Hills on Sept. 21, Afam scored on two punt returns covering 95 and 56 yards.
For his standout season, Afam was voted Offensive Player of the Year in the Rocky River Conference by the league’s coaches.
“Emmitt is a special talent when he has the football in his hands,” said Cavaliers coach Mike Roark. “He was clearly the engine that made our team go. It’s hard to overlook all his production in terms of points. Whether it was handing the football to him or throwing it to him, he was a weapon no matter what.”
Afam, a four-year varsity starter in football and basketball, currently has a football scholarship offer from Division I-AA Elon University.
Afam was one of five Cavaliers voted to the all-RRC team. The others include senior lineman Zach Panek, senior defensive end Jalen Young, senior end Alex Norton and junior receiver Ryan Kendall.
Monroe, which won the conference title outright for the second straight season, placed a league-high eight players on the all-RRC squad.
The Redhawks’ selections include senior quarterback Quayshawn Chambers, junior linebacker Ashad Byrd, senior safety Jermany Hammond, junior tailback Tre Shun Wynn, junior lineman Dequavis Allen, junior lineman Jemarcus Glenn, senior defensive end Tristan Thompson and junior receiver Jaylan Barbour.
Chambers (committed to Duke) was Monroe’s most productive offensive player. He threw for 1,520 yards and 19 touchdowns, and ran for 1,105 yards and seven scores.
Hammond had a stellar season, finishing with 72 tackles, 22 blocked kicks and 10 interceptions and making the all-state team.
Monroe’s Johnny Sowell was voted Coach of the Year after leading his team to an 11-4 record and an appearance in the 1AA state semifinals.
Forest Hills had six players named to the all-conference team, including senior linebacker Tyriq Laney, senior linebacker Rashad Bivens, junior quarterback Jared Lee, senior defensive back Roderick Poag, sophomore tailback CJ Carelock and senior defensive back Tyus Deese.
Laney was voted Defensive Player of the Year in the conference after recording a team-high 79 tackles, including seven for loss. He also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a blocked punt.
“He was the main cog of what we did defensively,” said Forest Hills coach John Lowery of Laney. “He solidified our defense not only from a playing standpoint, but from a leadership standpoint. We felt like we had an extra coach on the field with him.”
Piedmont’s four all-conference players include senior DB Cameron Lewis, senior DB Hunter Purser, senior tailback Brandon Gentry and junior lineman Ethan Pierson.
Gentry was the Panthers’ leading rusher, finishing with 128 carries for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Union Academy had three players selected to the all-league team, including senior tailback Rasheed Rushing, senior DB Antonio James and senior linebacker Devin Black.
Rushing ranked third in Union County with 1,629 yards on the ground. He also finished with 19 rushing scores, which ranked second in UC.
Central Academy’s lone all-RRC pick was senior receiver Cody Jefferson, who finished with 24 catches for 493 yards.
2012 All-RRC football team
(as selected by the league’s coaches)
Monroe: Tristan Thompson, Quayshawn Chambers, Ashad Byrd, Tre Shun Wynn, Jermany Hammond, Dequavis Allen, Jemarcus Glenn, Jaylan Barbour
Forest Hills: Tyriq Laney, Rashad Bivens, Jared Lee, Roderick Poag, CJ Carelock, Tyus Deese
Cuthbertson: Emmitt Afam, Zach Panek, Jalen Young, Alex Norton, Ryan Kendall
Piedmont: Cameron Lewis, Hunter Purser, Brandon Gentry, Ethan Pierson
Union Academy: Rasheed Rushing, Antonio James, Devin Black
North Stanly: Johnnie Little, Andrew Gibson
Central Academy: Cody Jefferson
West Stanly: Charlie Eudy
Offensive Player of the Year: Emmitt Afam, Cuthbertson
Defensive Player of the Year: Tyriq Laney, Forest Hills
Coach of the Year: Johnny Sowell, Monroe