Byrd, Christmas, Blevins make All-State team

from staff reports

   Ever since its inception, Cloudland's Mark Byrd has become a fixture of the Associated Press First Team All-State football team among all classes of TSSAA football.
   Byrd was the only person east of Morristown, with the exception of Morristown West defensive lineman Brandon Fanney, to make one of the first teams.
   He made the all-purpose slot on the offensive unit, making his third appearance on the team with his previous two coming at defensive back.
   Byrd was also selected as an honorable mention at the quarterback slot.
   The senior and 1-A Mr. Football back rushed for 25 touchdowns, returned five punts for TDs, returned an interception for a TD, topped his own state record for rushing by a quarterback with 1,402 yards, passed for 963 and had 629 return yards.
   Teammate Dane Christman and Elizabethton's Brandon Blevins both made the second team on defense. Christman made it as a linebacker, while Blevins got the nod as a punter.
   Blevins and Christman both become the second players from their school to make the Associated Press all-division squad since its inception, with Vince Redd being the other Cyclone last season.
   Christman follows up a stellar 1-A Mr. Football lineman season with over 400 tackles, while Blevins has earned spots on many of the regional teams with a strong punting average to hurt his opposition.
   Tennessee High's Eric White (defensive back), South Greene's Tyler Sauceman (wide receiver) and Dobyns-Bennett's Ryan Powell (offensive lineman) were the only other players in the remote area to make the second team.
   Twelve other Carter and Johnson County players made Honorable Mention on the squad.
   Elizabethton's Lester Bailey (halfback), Adam Turley (wide receiver) and Derek Nave (linebacker); Happy Valley's Tim Whaley (halfback), Jordy Harrison (offensive line), Daniel Dover (offensive line) and Drew Davis (defensive back);
   Cloudland's Dakota Benfield (halfback) and Jeff Lunsford (offensive line); Hampton's Justin Waycaster (fullback), Unaka's Charles Guinn (halfback) and Johnson County's Daniel Cranford (defensive line) round out the list.