All-State football



Last week, the Alabama Sports Writers Association announced its 2020 All- State football teams. The team is selected through nominations from statewide coaches and voted on by members of the ASWA prep committee, which also selects a Coach of the Year in each classification.

Carson Rickels’ record-breaking season for the Hayden Wildcats earned him Class 5A First Team All-State honors. Oneonta punter, linebacker, and tight end Beau Ragsdale landed on the first team in Class 4A. Pennington’s star wide receiver Sawyer Heptinstall and junior defensive linemen Chris Allred made the Class 3A first team roster.

Hayden’s Collin Chappell, Oneonta’s Luke Hodge, and Cleveland’s Pierce Gilliland and Kyle Willis were selected for second team in their respective classifications. Honorable mention nods went to Collin Moon of Oneonta and Hayden Floyd and Matthew Smith of J.B. Pennington.

First-Team All-State Offense
Senior RB, Carson Rickels, Hayden

Rickels racked up 1,686 yards rushing on 218 carries scoring 25 TDs giving him Hayden’s single season rushing record and scoring record. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and 153.3 yards per game on the ground. Rickels added another 107 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. He finished the season with 1,793 yards on offense scoring 27 touchdowns and converting two two-point plays. His 283 yards on kick returns gave him a total of 2,076 all purpose yards.

Second-Team All-State Defense
Senior DB Collin Chappell, Hayden

Chappell finished the season with 28 tackles, five pass break ups, five interceptions with 55 return yards, a touchdown, and one fumble recovery. He also returned 20 kickoffs for 346 yards and had nine punt returns for 72 yards. On offense, he had 11 receptions for 431 yards and three touchdowns.

First-Team All-State Defense
Senior P Beau Ragsdale, Oneonta

Through eight of Oneonta’s 10 games played, Ragsdale had recorded 32 punts for 1,101 yards averaging 34.4 yards per punt. His long of 50 yards came in game one against Etowah. Ragsdale closed out his Redskin career with 88 total tackles. He recorded 36 solo tackles, 52 assists, three sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and one interception.

Second-Team All-State Defense
Junior LB Luke Hodge, Oneonta

Hodge’s 108 tackles placed him at second on the the 2020 county leader board. He recorded 40 solo tackles, 68 assists, one sack, and 15 tackles for loss. Hodge also scored three touchdowns and finished with 20 receptions for 239 yards.

Honorable Mention
Junior RB Collin Moon, Oneonta

Moon’s consistent play and stellar ball protection were key to the Redskins’ offensive efforts this fall. In 10 games, he racked up 1,410 yards on 204 carries and scored 17 touchdowns.

First-Team All-State Offense
Senior WR Sawyer Heptinstall, J.B.

Heptinstall’s postseason honors continue to grow. He was chosen to represent the North team in the 62nd North-South All-Star Classic. While he was in Mobile preparing for that game, he was named the Class 3A Region 6 All-Region Offensive Player of the Year.

Heptinstall wrapped up his Pennington career with 94 receptions for 1,193 yards and 13 touchdowns. There are several college offers on the table right now for Heptinstall. He remains uncommitted at this point as he continues to weigh his options.

First-Team All-State Defense
Junior DL Chris Allred, J.B. Pennington

Pennington had a lot of senior defensive leadership this season, but Allred gives the Tigers an edge heading into the fall. His 68 solo tackles and 23 assists gave him a total of 91 for the season. His 26 tackles for loss and four sacks led the team. He recorded one pass break up, recovered one fumble, and forced three fumbles.

Honorable Mention
Junior QB Hayden Floyd, J.B. Pennington Senior P Matthew Smith, J.B. Pennington

The Tigers also get their QB back next season. Floyd finished 2020 with 2,520 total yards and 27 touchdowns. He passed for 2,091 yards and 24 TDs and ran for another 430 with three TDs.

Smith’s versatility will be missed next season. He averaged 38 yards per punt and finished the season with four touchdowns – two rushing and two receiving. Defensively, he recorded 60 tackles (43 solo and 17 assists) with one tackle for loss, three fumble recoveries, four interceptions, and six pass break ups.

Second-Team All-State Offense
Junior WR Pierce Gilliland, Cleveland

Gilliland’s 29 receptions gave him 666 yards. He scored 10 TDs through the air and two more on the ground. He finished the season with 132 yards rushing on 15 carries. His one pass was good for 6 more yards giving him 804 yards of total offense.

Second-Team All-State Defense
Senior DL Kyle Willis, Cleveland

Willis anchored a very strong Panther defense providing consistent leadership on and off the field. He wrapped up his Cleveland career with 88 total tackles – 46 solo and 42 assists. He recorded 11.5 sacks, 26 quarterback hurries, and one pass deflection. While he racked up 14 total tackles against Westbrook Christian in game eight, he had 11 in the Spring Garden and Southeastern games. Against the Mustangs he added two sacks and two quarterback hurries.