Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 21, 2013

Cherry named Region 1-AA’s Offensive POY

Staff report
Associated Press

— The awards keep coming in for Mario Cherry.

The Thomasville High senior running back, who won the Times-Enterprise All-Area Offensive Player of the Year award last week, was named the coaches’ Offensive Player of the Year in Region 1-AA.

In powering the Bulldogs to an 8-4 mark, No. 2 seed from the region and the second round of the state playoffs, Cherry churned out 1,604 yards and 21 touchdowns on 251 carries. He also hauled in 11 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns receiving.

Three times Cherry topped 200 yards rushing with 218 against Cook in Thomasville’s region opener Sept. 27, and then combining for 460 yards in Thomasville’s two playoff games — 245 against Westside-Augusta in the first round and 215 more against Lamar County.

Other Bulldogs honored were all-region first-team selections Helon Hammonds (tight end), Javier McGriff (wide receiver), Matthew Huddleston (guard) and Alan Robinson (tackle).

Hammonds, a junior, had 10 receptions for 187 yards and five touchdowns. McGriff, also a junior, led Thomasville with 41 catches for 487 yards and three touchdowns. Huddleston was a senior and Robinson was a junior as they anchored an offensive line that paved the way for THS to rush for 2,229 yards and total 3,540 yards of offense.

Defensively, the Bulldogs had three players recognized on the first team with nose guards Sadarian Cole and Edward Anderson as well as safety Jay Bowdry, who was also named the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.

Cole, a senior, had 44 tackles including 10 for a loss and three sacks. Anderson, a junior, made 61 stops with eight tackles for a loss and four sacks. While those two led up front, the junior Bowdry quarterbacked the THS defense from the secondary where he racked up 100 tackles despite missing the Berrien game with an injury suffered late the week before against Brooks County. Bowdry also forced two fumbles, recovering three more and picking off three passes. He returned one of those for a touchdown.

Joining Cherry as individual award winners were Brooks County’s Maurice Freeman as Coach of the Year, the Trojans’ Malkom Parrish as the Region Player of the Year, Early County’s Akil Teal as Defensive Player of the Year and Pelham’s Christian Drake as the Special Teams Player of the Year.