Mustangs named TFCA All-State
A pair of dangerous dynamic duos were selected as members of the Tennessee Football Coaches Association’s All-State teams. The names of honorees were released this week.
Setting numerous school records, along with impressive state and national numbers, Bradley Central’s Dylan Standifer and Lameric Tucker, plus Walker Valley’s Kolten Gibson and Zeke Westfield, were on the group’s Class 6A and 5A honor lists respectively.
Tucker, Gibson and Westfield received similar honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association a couple of weeks ago.
Leading the potent Walker Valley aerial attack, Gibson and Westfield put up nationally-ranked numbers.
Westfield finished the campaign with a state-best 105 catches for a whopping 1,624 yards (15.5 yards per catch) and found the end zone 14 times.
Thanks in large part to four games with 13 or more catches, Westfield ranked eighth in the country in receptions and 22nd in yards. He was fifth nationally with 162.4 receiving yards per game.
"It was a tough season, but I tried to do everything I could to help this team win,” the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Westfield proclaimed.
“There were a lot of memories I will take away thanks to the help of an amazing quarterback I was able to play with."
Gibson was stellar as well in 10 games, as he totaled 4,022 yards (402.2 per game) and accounted a state-best 43 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound gunslinger ranked 17th in the country in yards per game. He was also named the Region 4-5A Offensive Player of the Year.
He finished his career with 117 total touchdowns (Southeast Tennessee record) and was just 144 yards shy of the state mark for most total yards. He ranked in the top 10 in 14 different TSSAA categories.
"To be on the all-state team is a huge honor and something I will always be proud of looking back," said Gibson, who finished his prep career with 9,399 passing yards.
"I really was glad to have Zeke out there to throw the ball to. I couldn't have done it without him. He was a great weapon along with Brock Gibson (10 TDs) all year."
In back-to-back weeks Gibson posted 500-plus total yards, as he set the state's second highest mark with 626 yards (526 passing, 100 rushing) and eight touchdowns against Stone Memorial. The following week he posted 519 yards and five scores against Cleveland.
He threw for over 300 yards in seven outings, including four times for over 400, while averaging 42 passing attempts per game.
On top of passing for 3,342 yards and 36 touchdowns he also led his team in rushing with 134 carries for 681 yards and seven scores. He had six games with 86 or more yards on the ground.
In a road victory over Class 3A semifinalist Red Bank, 45-42 on Oct. 6, Gibson totaled 450 yards and accounted for six touchdowns.
Westfield was the recipient of a team-record 18 passes and 310 yards against the Lions.
"I knew we had the potential to be this good, but it was surprising to see the numbers we both put up at the end of the season," Westfield said.
Standifer and Tucker led the Bears to a 10-3 record, their best since 1980, and a spot in the TSSAA playoff quarterfinals.
After playing wide receiver and serving as backup quarterback to Mr. Tennessee Football finalist Cole Copeland the previous two years, Standifer made the most of his first season as the top Bear signal caller.
Surpassing Copeland’s single-season school records, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior completed 189-of-268 passes, making him second in the state among QBs with more than 40 attempted passes with a 70.5 completion percentage.
His single-season school records of 3,146 completion yards and 28 TD passes also saw him throw just seven interceptions, only three of which came in the final 12 games.
A quick-footed runner, Standifer also ran the ball 90 times for 202 yards, finding the end zone 10 times himself.
He also scored a 2-point conversion to directly account for 230 of Bradley’s 419 total points.
Standifer had four games that are in the Top 10 in school history for combined yards — 366 against Ooltewah, 356 versus Soddy-Daisy, 315 against Walker Valley and 298 vs. William Blount.
He also posted three of the top dozen single-game passing performances with 355 vs. S-D (No. 6), 318 against Ooltewah (No. 9) and 303 vs. WV (No. 12).
In the Bear victory over McMinn County this season he tied for the third place in Bradley history for the most touchdown passes in a game with five.
“Dylan is very deserving. He had one of the best seasons in the 100-year history of our program,” declared Bear head coach Damon Floyd.
“He played incredibly. He is one of the most poised quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. He makes good decisions and he doesn’t force things.”
Tucker is the third Bradley player in the last five years, along with Copeland and James Stovall, to be a two-time all-stater, being named to the TSWA both of the last two seasons.
Tucker wrapped up his Black-and-Gold career owning most of the program’s receiving records.
“Lameric is very deserving of everything he’s gotten,” proclaimed Coach Floyd. “He’s everything a coach could want in a player, both on and off the field.
The past campaign, the 6-foot, 170-pounder pulled in 78 catches for 1,604 yards (20.1 average per catch) and found the end zone 12 times.
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga commit also carried the ball 35 times for 137 yards (3.9 ypc), scoring four more touchdowns.
The 4.5 speedster also averaged 26 yards on 16 kick returns, with a long return of 65 yards, allowing him to finish with 2,199 all-purpose yards and 16 TDs.
“He’s a great football player — he’s physical, fast, has a great, 40-inch vertical leap and is a very unselfish player,” Coach Floyd assessed.
For his career, Tucker is in the Top 10 in state history in four receiving categories to go along with his Bradley records.
A three-year starter, he finished with career record marks of 5,154 total offensive yards, which is No. 1 in TSSAASports.com records.
His 266 catches are second on the same listing, while his 28 receiving TDs near the Top 10.
Tucker also holds the eighth (1,604) and 10th (1,452) best single season receiving marks on the current TSSAA list.
He is also seventh (91) and 11th (78) in total receptions in a season.
Tucker also has eight of the Top 15 single-game receiving performance in Bear history, including four he set this past season — 191 at Soddy-Daisy, 176 vs. WV, 170 against McMinn County and 165 at Ooltewah.
He holds the mark for the top two receiving seasons in Bear history with 1,452 yards on 91 catches in 2016 to go with this past year’s numbers.
— Banner sports writer Patrick MacCoon contributed to this story.