Published Thursday, December 27, 2012

Prep Football: Local stars earn All-State selections

By DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

The high school football season might be over, but for three players from Coweta County, some holiday cheer came their way in the form of all-state honors.

Newnan defensive backs Tray Matthews and Rodney Tennie, as well as Northgate’s DeAndre Johnson were honored by the Georgia Sports Writers’ Association with recognition on the 2012 All-State football team.

Matthews has enrolled for the spring semester at Georgia and willl be able to participate in spring practice with the Bulldogs. This week, he was named to the GSWA Class AAAAAA All-State First Team as a defensive back.

The Newnan Times-Herald was involved in nominations for the All-State process, but did not participate in voting. Players from East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate were nominated for All-State by sports editor Chris Goltermann.

All three players competed Saturday in the Georgia Dome for the Central squad against the North team as part of the first D.L Scott Bowl Coalition Bowl games.

Matthews shined during his senior year on both sides of the ball for the Cougars en route to their 9-3 season. Although he finished with 37 pass receptions and seven touchdowns on offense, he was honored by the state writers for his 80 tackles and one interception at defensive back.

Matthews, who earned The Newnan Times-Herald’s Player of the Year honors for his stellar season on both sides of the ball, is expected to play in the secondary at Georgia. Matthews has one last game as a high school all-star on January 5 in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.  Matthews will suit up for the East squad.

Tennie has already said he probably won’t play football at the next level. The two-sport start has turned his future thoughts to the baseball diamond where he also shines as an outfielder with good speed and a solid glove. That didn’t stop voters from placing Tennie on the Class AAAAAA Second Team at defensive back.

Tennie came on late in the season with an amazing eight interceptions, including five in the last three games. He also finished the year with 13 pass breakups.

Tennie continued to show why could be a quarterback’s worst nightmare Saturday at the Georgia Dome in the D.L Scott Coalition Bowl game earning overall MVP honors for the Central team in its 10-0 victory over the North. Tennie set up his team’s only touchdown with one of two interceptions on the day.

Northgate’s DeAndre Johnson also earned a spot on the Class AAAAA Second Team All-State squad from his defensive line spot.

Johnson, who has committed to play at Georgia, ended his high schiool career with the Vikings with 33 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two quarterback hurries to help Northgate to a 5-6 record and its second consecutive trip to the playoffs.

Selections were done by computer ballot by GSWA members.

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