BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
Three area football players were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association 2012 All-State Team, which was released earlier this morning.
Chuckey-Doak running back Bryce Malone and West Greene defensive lineman Jaylynn Kesterson were selected to the Class 3A squad, while Greeneville linebacker Tyrus Rollins was picked for the 4A team. All three players are seniors.
Malone earned his spot by rushing for a school-record 2106 yards this year, averaging 10.9 yards per carry. He scored 26 touchdowns. He missed playing time early in the season due to injury.
"You're taking about rushing for 2106 yards in 10 games," Chucky-Doak head coach Aaron Christian said. "That's averaging more than 210 yards per game. We're only gaining maybe 370 yards a game on average. It's more than well over half our offense."
Malone also returned kicks and punts for the Black Knights, scoring twice and adding a successful two-point conversion attempt to give credence to his making the squad as an athlete.
Christian said about Malone's offensive production, "I didn't anticipate it, but I'm not surprised either with the talent that kid has. He's got the ability to score any time he can touch the ball."
Kesterson who stands 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, was a defensive force for West Greene as he helped the program to its first-ever playoff win. Kesterson was also named Blue Ridge Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
He made 115 tackles, 30 of which went for a loss, as well as dropping opposing quarterbacks for 14 sacks.
West Greene head coach Joe Case said, "We felt like we had to be stronger and more athletic on the edge and we put him in that position. He really came on at the end for us. He'll be the first to credit his teammates. He had a great bunch of guys around him that really helped out."
Kesterson also forced 10 quarterback hurries, intercepted one pass, forced one fumble and recovered another.
Rollins made the 4A team as a linebacker after being named co-Player of the Year in the Blue Ridge Conference. He tallied 115 tackles for the Greene Devils, 14 of which were behind the line of scrimmage. He also picked off a pair of passes for the Greene Devils, who advanced to the state quarter finals this season.
Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard said, "(Rollins) has grown leaps and bounds for us this year. He is a true leader on defense. He understands the game."
Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) and Alcoa dominated the Class 3A All-State Team, with eight and seven selections, respectively.
For a full list of the teams, see page 2B. The Class 5A and 6A TSWA All-State squads won't be released until Friday.