Byrd heads TSWA local all-state list

By Wes Holtsclaw

   After his amazing year, what more could Mark Byrd want? Nobody knows for sure, but a spot on the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) All State team tops a wonderful season.
   The five players selected from Carter County: Vince Redd, Brandon Odom, Dakota Benfield, Keith Buchanan and Byrd, were the cream of the crop of Carter County football this season.
   Each player was named at least honorable mention on the AP team, and earned All-State honors on the Prep Talk Online fan poll.
   Byrd, who helped lead the Cloudland Highlanders to the state championship game, is one of four Highlanders to make the TSWA All State team in their class, earning the spot as 1-A athlete.
   On the 4-A team, Elizabethton's Vince Redd was placed at the top linebacker spot. Averaging 10 tackles per game, Redd put the 'smash' in smashmouth football this past season, torturing opposing teams all season long.
   Featured on the 1-A team from Cloudland were the two dominating big men up front, Keith Buchanan and Brandon Odom.
   Odom earned a spot on the team as defensive end. Odom also played tight end, and played a vital part in the season for the 'Landers as one of the 'Beefy Boys.' Brandon also set a couple of kicking records earlier in the season.
   Buchanan was a powerhouse on both sides of the ball, earning his spot on the team at offensive tackle. Though Buchanan was more impressive on the defensive side, his play on the offensive side helped the 'Lander team put some points on the board this year.
   Finally, Cloudland's top late season rusher Dakota Benfield earned a spot on the team at cornerback. Benfield is most famous for his post season surge, gaining over 800 yards in rushing. He scored over 25 times this year and is sure to be a presence next season.
   It was a great year for football, but will be interesting to see if any local players will make the teams on the hardcourt. Congratulations to these men for their accomplishments this year.