The Oneonta Redskins have dominated 4A football for the most part for the last three years. After a pair of runner-up finishes in the 4A title game, the Redskins broke through this year with a 28-10 victory over Charles Henderson in December.
It was the school’s first title since winning Class 3A in 2004 and the first championship for the school in Class 4A.
You don’t win titles without good players and Oneonta had plenty of them. The coach wasn’t bad either. Larry ‘Pod’ Patterson Player of the Year
Ethan Boyd, Oneonta
Ethan Boyd led the Redskin defense with 150 tackles and he was among the defense’s leaders in sacks with five and tackles for loss with 21. The 6’3, 208-lb. senior is a three-year starter for the Redskins.
In the championship game, Ethan led the Redskins with 11 tackles, including one for loss, and added an interception.
“He was the best linebacker we saw all year,” said the head coach of a team the Redskins faced in the playoffs. “They had a lot of good players, don’t get me wrong, but he was a guy that stood out on film. We blocked him at times but he never stayed blocked. He’s a very, very good player. He runs well and is much stronger than we thought.” Offensive Player of the Year
Ko Powell, Oneonta
The sophomore transfer set the bar about as high as it gets with an MVP performance in the 4A title game.
On the season, Powell rushed 106 times for 456 yards and seven touchdowns and completed 114 of 176 passes for 1608 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions.
In the playoffs, Powell (5’11, 157 lbs.) was even better as he completed 50 of 85 passes for 736 yards for eight touchdowns and an interception.
“I’m sure he got overlooked at times,” said an opposing coach. “We looked at something like six or seven (game) films and you could tell that as the season went on he really started making plays. They were good up front on offense and they ran the ball well but I don’t think they really took off until late in the year. He made plays with his feet – he ran away from us early in the game – but he also threw the ball very well against us. His ability to hurt a defense through the air or on the ground made them very hard to defend.” Defensive Player of the Year
Thomas Boyd, Oneonta
“He was hard to block,” said an opposing coach of Oneonta’s defensive end. “We could tell on film that he moved well but he was so strong at the point of attack. We thought we had a pretty good plan (against Oneonta) up front but he just made plays all over the place.”
Thomas Boyd, like his brother Ethan, was a threeyear starter for Oneonta and he led the Redskins in big plays with 7.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. In addition, he was second on the team with 120 tackles and added a fumble recovery and an interception.
In the championship game against Charles Henderson, Thomas had nine tackles, including three for lost yardage. Hugh O’Shields Coach of the Year
Don Jacobs, Oneonta
There was some very good work turned in by Blount County coaches this year.
Joe Willie Whited got Appalachian back into the playoffs and Chris Musso rekindled the competitive flame at Locust Fork.
However, when you lead a team to the title game for the third year in a row and bring home the 4A championship, the decision is easy – Don Jacobs is the Hugh O’Shields Coach of the Year.
In his fourth year at Oneonta, Jacobs has compiled a record of 48-9. His teams have made the playoffs every year and he is now 70-22 overall as a head coach. Every team he has ever coached (three at Elkmont, four at Oneonta) has made the playoffs and he is now 16-6 in the postseason.
“It’s not like he’s doing something you haven’t seen before,” said a coach whose team faced Oneonta this year. “What his teams do is execute and play hard. They line up where they are supposed to and they play fast and very physical. We played teams with better athletes and beat them pretty good. Oneonta beat us pretty good because of what they do and how well they are coached.
“They always have a little wrinkle or something you haven’t seen but that’s not what beat us. He and his staff just do a phenomenal job. I’ve been doing this a long time and he’s one of the best I’ve seen.”
The all-county first team will be named next week and the Players of the Year and first team will be honored at a banquet later this month.