2017 Football Finalists
Cape Central, juniorA Semoball Awards finalist on offense a year ago, Harris was a defensive standout for a Tigers unit that lost key personnel to graduation. He finished the year with a team-high 110 tackles and eight tackles for a loss as a linebacker for the district champs.
Cape Central, seniorThe fact Chisom is a finalist on both sides of the ball is a testament to his skill and athleticism. Despite the fact many teams tried to throw to his side of the field as little as possible, Chisom had 62 tackles and three interceptions at defensive back, where he projects at the college level, and was named a first-team All-State member.
Charleston, juniorTucker was the best player on the team for what was a bit of a renaissance season for the Blue Jays. The linebacker amassed 132 tackles and led Southeast Missouri with 26 tackles for a loss. He also forced three fumbles.
Hayti, sophomoreJust a sophomore, Winters made a big splash on the defensive side of things in 2016. He led the area with 145 tackles, and those came from his position at defensive end, where he also had seven sacks and five fumble recoveries. His performance earned him a first-team All-State nod and the title of SEMO Conference West Defensive Player of the Year.
Hayti, seniorThe 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior safety helped lead a stingy Indian defense, posting 76 tackles on the year as Hayti went 10-2. Moore is planning to continue his playing career at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas next year. It is Moore’s second straight year as a Football Defense finalist.
Jackson, seniorJackson coach Brent Eckley called the two-sport standout “the best defensive player on the team,” with Guilliams racking up 85 tackles and three interceptions while earning a Class 5 All-State Second Team nod.
Malden, seniorA Class 2 All-State Second Team selection, Crawford led the charge up front for a steady Green Wave stopping unit. The senior defensive lineman had 73 tackles, including eight for a loss, and was named a Class 2 All-State second-teamer.
Poplar Bluff, juniorOffense was Poplar Bluff’s calling card in 2016, but Dunivan led the charge on defense for the Mules, compiling a team-high 104 tackles and 15 stops for a loss. He had three sacks and three fumble recoveries, returning another loose ball for a touchdown as Poplar Bluff went 8-2.
Sikeston, seniorA Semoball Awards veteran in wrestling, Stinnett makes his first football appearance after making 97 tackels, including 25 for a loss, along with five sacks for Sikeston this fall. His effort earned him the Derland Moore Award as the SEMO Conference’s best defensive player.
Caruthersville, juniorThe junior linebacker made a mighty impression for the Tigers, who went 8-4 on the season. Bates finished the season with 97 stops and 12 tackles for a loss while earning honors as the SEMO Conference South Division Defensive Player of the Year.
Cape Central, seniorTaking on a bigger load in the Tigers’ offense, the dual-threat quarterback showcased his athletic ability with a massive senior season that saw him win the Carr Trophy as the best offensive player in the SEMO Conference. He ran for 1,625 yards and 17 touchdowns and was 79 of 157 through the air for 1,323 passing yards and 18 TDs with just four interceptions.
Caruthersville, seniorQualls was the No. 1 option for the Tigers in 2016, as the wide receiver amassed 1,194 yards through the air on 50 receptions. His effort in his final season helped Caruthersville to an 8-4 record and a berth in a district championship.
Hayti, seniorA third-team All-State selection, Mills led the Indians to a 10-2 season that was only ended when Hayti ran into powerhouse Valle Catholic in a district final. The senior signal caller amassed more all-purpose yards than any player in Southeast Missouri, rushing for 1,044 yards and 18 touchdowns on 115 carries and throwing for 2,347 yards and 32 TDs while finishing 170-of-290 passing.
Jackson, juniorAfter an injury slowed him a year ago, Callis was one of the area’s most prolific passers, completing 199 of 308 pass attempts for 2,947 yards, 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions to spark a prolific Indians’ offense and help his team to an 8-3 record.
Jackson, seniorDespite having to spread catches out between a deep group of receivers, Kent was one of just three wideouts in the area to surpass 1,000 yards on the season — 1,146 yards, to be precise, on 68 catches. Twelve of those went to the end zone. Kent, a Class 5 third-team All-State selection, also rushed for five TDs.
Malden, juniorA year after the Green Wave lost an import group of players from a Class 2 state runner-up squad, Wilson helped make sure Malden didn’t miss a beat. He was a second-team All-State pick and the best blocker on a team that ran for more than 3,000 yards.
Poplar Bluff, juniorThe receiver exploded for 1,313 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns on 65 catches, setting school records for receiving yards in a game (2441), a season and a career (1,884). And that last one will continue to rise as he returns for the Mules next season. No wideout in the area put up bigger numbers.
Poplar Bluff, seniorDespite a kidney condition that made every hit a truly life-altering proposition, the Mules quarterback re-set records for which the ink was still drying. Completing 69.1 percent of his 256 pass attempts, Foust threw for 2,931 yards, 35 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His numbers set Poplar Bluff records for passing yards in a season and in a game — 521 vs. Jackson, a number which was also a SEMO Conference record.
Scott City, seniorCox was the Rams’ life raft, as he carried the ball 356 times for 2,432 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns, helping Scott City to its first winning season since 2008 and garnering Class 1 second-team All-State honors. In the process, the three-sport standout created a new definition for the term “workhorse.”
Sikeston, seniorFaulkner gave the Bulldogs one of the area’s best offensive weapons as he helped his team to a 7-4 record. Despite missing three games — in which he was sorely missed — the running back was able to amass 1,313 yards and 16 touchdowns on 131 carries for an average of 10 yards per carry.