Walker Valley star Kolten Gibson put forth jaw-dropping performances throughout his career. Thursday, he was named 2017 Region 4-5A Offensive Player of The Year. (Banner Photo: Paul Pruett)
For the second straight season it was Walker Valley's record-breaking quarterback Kolten Gibson, who took home the Region 4-5A Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Putting the Mustangs on his back, Gibson totaled 4,022 yards (3,341 passing, 681 rushing) in just 10 games, in which he threw for 36 scores and rushed for seven.
Gibson threw for over 400 yards in four games and rushed past the century mark in four as well, along with being the fourth-leading rusher in the local area.
His 626-yard performance against Stone Memorial is second best in state history for the Southeast Tennessee leader in career touchdowns (117). Gibson was only 144 yards shy of the state record for most total yards in a career in TSSAA history.
"I did all I could for this program. I leave no regrets behind," Gibson said. "I am blessed for the honor. My favorite game of my career was beating Red Bank, who has made the state semifinals. I laid my body out on the line for our team. I woke up with a swollen neck on both sides and never felt so sore in my life, but it was worth it."
Gibson totaled 450 yards and six touchdowns in the 45-42 victory, while he made 12 tackles and picked off two passes as a safety with one coming to close the game.
Airing the football out to his favorite target, Zeke Westfield, was a major help as well.
The 6-foot-5 breakout wide receiver took off in his senior season as a first-time starter on his way to being named the Region 4-5A Receiver of the Year.
Westfield led the state in the regular season with 105 catches for 1,624 yards and 14 receiving scores.
He caught at least eight passes in eight games and had eight 100-yard games, which included three games over 200 and one over 300.
Westfield was also heroic in the Red Bank win, as he caught 17 passes for 310 yards and three scores. The top performance by any receiver this season in the state in a single game and the sixth best in state history.
Also making a surprise splash on the scene in one of the state's top passing attacks was senior Brock Gibson, who was selected to the all-region team after hauling in 35 catches for 622 yards (17.8 ypc) and 10 touchdowns.
Only two wide receiver duos in the regular season had double-digit receiving scores throughout the state.
Others named to the all region team for the Mustangs were: Cody Duggan (112 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks), Koby Hooker and all-academic selection Nolan Cawood (4.0 GPA).