Twenty-five players have been selected to the 2019 The Sumter Item All-Area Football Team.
The team is selected based on nominations from the head coaches of the seven South Carolina High School League schools in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties. The team is selected by The Sumter Item sports department.
This year’s team is made up of 10 players from Sumter, four from Lakewood, three apiece from Crestwood and Manning, two each from Lee Central and East Clarendon and one from Scott’s Branch.
The quarterback is Sumter’s Hayden Vasquez. The left-hander completed 124 of 210 passes for 1,837 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Gamecocks, who were 10-1 on the season. He also rushed for four scores.
The running backs are Sumter’s Tony Dinkins-McCall, Lee Central’s Naquan Peeples and East Clarendon’s Marques Webb.
Dinkins-McCall moved from wide receiver to running back after the first game of the season. He only played seven games before a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his season.
Dinkins-McCall, who has signed with Georgia Southern, rushed for 638 yards and eight touchdowns on just 61 carries. He had 12 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown and also threw a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Dinkins-McCall, who was selected to play in the Touchstone Energy Cooperative Bowl North-South Game before the injury, also returned four kickoffs for 216 yards – an average of 54 yards per return – and two touchdowns.
Peeples led Lee Central in rushing with 1,017 yards and scored five touchdowns on 118 carries. He averaged 8.6 yards per carry.
Webb led East Clarendon with 1,112 yards and nine touchdowns on 178 carries. He also ran for a pair of 2-point conversions.
The wide receivers are Tylee Craft and Marcus Lane, both of Sumter.
Craft, who has signed with North Carolina and was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl, had 38 catches for 593 yards and six touchdowns. Craft also returned six kickoffs for 143 yards, taking one back for a touchdown.
Lane led the Gamecocks in catches and receiving yards with 46 and 675, respectively. Four of the catches were for touchdowns.
The offensive line is made up of Sterling Porcher of Sumter, Kalus Benjamin of Crestwood, Nathan Suggs of Lakewood, Logan Browning of Lakewood and Chad Temoney of Lee Central.
Porcher was Sumter’s most consistent offensive lineman, according to coaches. His grade average for the year was over 80%.
Benjamin graded out at 84% and led Crestwood with 27 pancake blocks.
Suggs led Lakewood with 46 pancake blocks and allowed just one quarterback sack.
Browning finished with 38 pancake blocks and allowed just two sacks.
Temoney graded out at 86% and led Lee Central with 42 pancake blocks.
The all-purpose player in Don Hilton of Manning. Hilton returned two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 305 yards and five more touchdowns. As a defensive back, he had 48 tackles and three interceptions.
The placekicker is Dyson Roberts of Sumter. Roberts was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards and was 43 of 46 on extra points. He averaged 33 yards on 29 punts and had 18 touchdowns on 80 kickoffs with opponents averaging just 13 yards a return.
The defensive line is made up of Jacson Thorne of Crestwood and Davin Jackson and Justus Boone, both of Sumter.
Thorne, who was selected to play in the Touchstone Energy Bowl, had 35 tackles from his nose guard position. He had 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Jackson finished with 72 tackles. He led Sumter in tackles for loss with 24 for 113 yards in losses and in sacks with 7 .
Boone had 61 tackles, 23 of them for losses of 101 yards. He also had 6 sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.
The linebackers are Donte’ Coleman of Sumter, Aaron Smith of Manning and Amari Martin of Lakewood.
Coleman led Sumter in tackles with 106. He had 7 tackles for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Smith had a monster season on both sides of the football for Manning. As a linebacker, he had 121 tackles, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries. As a running back, Smith ran for 1,180 yards and 14 touchdowns on 142 carries.
Martin led Lakewood with 81 tackles. He had one interception, returning it 70 yards for a touchdown, one sack, one pass deflection and one fumble recovery.
The defensive backs are O’Donnell Fortune of Sumter, Ike Washington of Scott’s Branch, Zayveon Wells of Lakewood, Trent Brown of Manning and Tyjhai Calvin of East Clarendon.
Fortune was a Shrine Bowl selection who signed with South Carolina. He finished with 46 tackles, including five tackles for loss, three interceptions and five pass breakups.
Washington finished with eight interceptions and 30 tackles. He had 750 yards in returns and scored five touchdowns.
Wells led Lakewood with six interceptions for 244 yards in returns, taking two of them back for touchdowns. He also had 43 tackles, six deflections, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Brown had four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He also had 110 tackles and recovered three fumbles.
Calvin had 39 tackles and three interceptions. On offense, he had 20 catches for 316 yards and four touchdowns, ran for 404 yards and seven touchdowns on 60 attempts and threw a touchdown pass.
The punter is Robert Reed of Crestwood. Reed averaged 40 yards on 45 punts.