2013 Herald All-Area Football First Team Offense

December 25, 2013 

Player of the Year

Trevon Walters, sr., Manatee

Position: Running back.

To his credit: The All-Area Offensive Player of the Year overcame a slew of injuries to rush for 1,704 yards and 14 touchdowns. Walters crossed the 250-yard rushing plateau twice and was limited to fewer than 100 yards twice, but never rushed for fewer than 70. Walters set a program record with 43 carries against Vero Beach in the Class 8A-Region 2 playoff opener and he is a player of the year nominee in Class 8A. Walters has committed to Missouri.

Courtney Allen, sr., Southeast

Position: Running back.

To his credit: One of the most prolific running backs in county history put a stellar cap on his career, rushing for 1,293 yards and 13 touchdowns. Allen also had three receiving touchdowns. A Class 5A player of the year nominee in the state, Allen totaled 3,838 yards for his career, second all-time in Manatee County behind Manatee's Shevin Wiggins.

David Benson, sr., Bayshore

Position: Offensive line.

To his credit: Benson earned a nomination to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association's North-South All-Star game from the area coaches and was a stable veteran presence for Bayshore's young offense.

Michael Galati, sr., Manatee

Position: Offensive line.

To his credit: The USF-bound guard just wrapped his third year starting for the Canes and helped them average nearly 437 yards and five touchdowns per game.

Josh Hicks, sr., Palmetto

Position: Athlete.

To his credit: Hicks did a little of everything for Palmetto, rushing for 1,087 yards and 17 touchdowns, returning punts and kickoffs and playing safety to lead the Tigers to the playoffs for a fourth straight year.

Felipe Jaime, sr., Palmetto

Position: Offensive line.

To his credit: The 310-pound Jaime helped anchor the Tigers' offensive line with his size and leadership and led youth-laden Palmetto to its fourth consecutive playoff appearance.

Kyle Mauk, sr., Manatee

Position: Offensive line.

To his credit: Mauk is off to The Citadel after completing his third year as Manatee's starting center, snapping efficiently out of the shotgun. The Canes lost four games and won a statle in Mauk's three years as a center.

Andre Mays, sr., Braden River

Position: Wide receiver.

To his credit: Mays was another excellent option for the Pirates, who won five games after winning one in 2012. Mays hauled in six touchdowns, 32 catches and 490 yards for Braden River.

Kelvin McKnight, jr., Manatee

Position: Wide receiver.

To his credit: McKnight morphed into the Hurricanes' top receiver as he pulled in a team-best 41 catches for the Class 8A-District 7 champions. McKnight finished with 519 yards and seven touchdowns and had 13 catches in Manatee's season opener in Maryland against The Gilman School. McKnight is a cousin of Manatee alum and current Jacksonvile Jaguar Ace Sanders.

Wyatt McLeod, sr., Lakewood Ranch

Position: Tight end.

To his credit: The versatile McLeod did a bit of everything for the Mustangs, but his primary position was tight end, where he had 14 catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. McLeod also had 84 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Josh Meyer, jr., Manatee

Position: Quarterback.

To his credit: Meyer had a fine season replacing Cord Sandberg, accounting for 2,014 yards of offense (1,156 passing, 856 rushing) and 22 touchdowns (11 passing, 11 rushing) in helping Manatee to the Class 8A-District 7 title and a third undefeated regular season in four years. Meyer's season was cut short when he suffered a torn labrum in a Region 2 semifinal against Fort Pierce Central.

Demardre Patterson, sr., Cardinal Mooney

Position: Running back.

To his credit: Patterson needed just nine games to chalk up 1,433 yards and 18 touchdowns to earn a player of the year nomination in Class 3A and lead the Cougars to the District 6 title. Patterson played a huge role in the championship, rushing for 257 yards and three scores in what ended up being the district title game against Fort Myers Bishop Verot.

Cameron Pearcey, jr., Lakewood Ranch

Position: Wide receiver.

To his credit: A solid baseball player, Pearcey held his own on the gridiron this fall by totaling 500 receiving yards on 35 catches for the Mustangs. Pearcey also scored six touchdowns for Lakewood Ranch.

Justin Ross, jr., Braden River

Position: Wide receiver.

To his credit: Ross helped steer the Pirates' turnaround season by pacing the team's air game. Ross had 33 catches for 501 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 15.5 yards per catch.

Jake Stickler, sr., Manatee

Position: Offensive line.

To his credit: A legacy whose uncle and dad won a state title at Manatee, Stickler, a tackle, was one of the leaders for an\ unit that helped the Canes rush for more than 322 yards per game. The three-year starter, who helped win a state title himself in 2011, has committed to Georgia Tech.

Honorable mention

Bayshore -- Wesley Jackson, sr., QB; Derrick Williams, sr., RB.

Bradenton Christian -- Joey Giardina, soph., QB; Sinclair Laskett, sr.,RB/WR; Wade Carter, jr., WR.

Cardinal Mooney -- Reese Vita, jr., QB; Sean Morris, jr., WR; Wyatt Knopfke, jr., OL.

IMG Academy -- Bo Scarbrough, sr., RB; Michael O'Connor, sr., QB; Casey Gunderson, sr., WR; Donnie Foster, sr., OL.

Lakewood Ranch -- Chad Rex, jr., QB.

Manatee -- Dylan Beauchamp, sr., OL; Brooks Larkin, sr., OL; Marquel Hines, sr., WR; Brodrick Yancy, sr., WR/QB.

Palmetto -- Michael Hillery, sr., OL; Simon Williams, jr., WR; Sean Allison, soph., QB.

Saint Stephen's -- Luc Goeders, jr., RB; Jordon Murrell, frosh., WR; Griffin Donnolly, jr., ATH.

-- Capsules by John Lembo, Herald staff

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