2017-12-06 / Sports

Nine Indians selected to all-region squad

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor

It’s unusual to have a sophomore named to the all-region team. It’s even more rare to have two.

But that feat was accomplished by Gaffney’s Kelvin “Peanut” Kirby and Rodney Smith, who were selected to the Class 5A All-Region III football team by a vote of the region coaches.

Kirby led the Indians with 1,233 rushing yards, averaging nearly seven yards a carry. He scored nine touchdowns.

Smith was third on the team from his safety spot with 72 tackles, including 46 solo stops.

He also had a sack and a forced fumble.

The super sophs were among nine Indians selected to the team. Region champ and state runner-up Dorman had 10.

Kirby and Smith were joined by teammates Deshun Tate, Jac Coleman, Dennis Smith, Tyshun Sarratt, Hunter Decker, Cam Rice and Quez Smith.

Dennis Smith and Rice also made the Shrine Bowl. Despite missing a couple of games recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Smith had a team-high 55 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns.

Smith has verbally committed to Duke.

Rice started the year at running back, where he gained 416 yards, before moving to linebacker, where he finished third on the team in sacks with five. He also had a team-high five forced fumbles.

Sarratt completed 61 percent of his throws for 2,670 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Tate has been selected to the North-South All-Star game.

Decker, who played with a variety of injuries, was the emotional leader on defense.

He finished with 22 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and 15 quarterback pressures.

Dorman quarterback Ben Batson was named as the region player of the year. His coach, Dave Gutshall, was named the region’s top coach.

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