All-region teams: ELCA’s Green named top player in 5-A

Here are the top players and coaches as well as the all-region team in 5-A, as selected by the coaches:

Player of the year: RB/LB Keyante Green, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

Offensive player of the year: RB Jeremiah Kirkland, Landmark Christian, Jr.

Defensive player of the year: DL Isaac Rochelle, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

Lineman of the year: OL/DL Reed McGuire, Landmark Christian, Sr.

Special teams player of the year: ATH Rashard Fant, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.

Coaches award: Chauncey Laboo, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.

Coach of the year: Jonathan Gess, Eagle’s Landing Christian


QB – Dalton Ethridge, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Jr.

QB – Elijah Burnette, Mt. Vernon, Jr.

RB – Clay Pfohl, Holy Innocents’, Jr.

WR – Josh Nobles, Landmark Christian, Sr.

WR – Kameron Uter, Pace Academy, Sr.

WR – Marquis Griffin, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

OL – Matthew Frank, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.

OL – Grant Gosden, Holy Innocents’, Sr.

OL – JonPaul Reid, Landmark Christian, Sr.

OL – Peyton Johnson, Strong Rock, Sr.

OL – Jake Martin, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

ATH – Kevin Johnson, Pace Academy, So.


DL – Andrew Williams, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Jr.

DL – Andreus Holley, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

DL – Jacob Cobb, Landmark Christian, Sr.

DL – Lynix Branch, Our Lady of Mercy, Jr.

LB – Josh Shockley, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

LB – Bryson Durden, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Jr.

LB – William Higbie, Landmark Christian, Jr.

DB – Jason Grimes, Holy Innocents’, Sr.

DB – Denzel Franklin, Pace Academy, Jr.

DB – DJ Curl, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

DB – Jevius Terry, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

DB – Cole Higbie, Landmark Christian, Sr.

DB – Zach Moss, Strong Rock, Sr.

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17 comments Add your comment


December 12th, 2012
12:06 pm

Congratulations to all the players. ELCA, you had a great year. Finish the drill


December 12th, 2012
2:32 pm

first team offense
first team defense???

Pat Swanson

December 12th, 2012
2:47 pm

I was wondering the same thing Cliff. Where’s the First-Team Defense ???

Pat Swanson

December 12th, 2012
2:48 pm

All of the ELCA Defensive Players should be First Team Defense.


December 12th, 2012
3:01 pm

Jonathan Gess as coach of the year?!? This might actually be the year this program finally achieves a result commensurate with their talent level. Losing in the semifinals last year to a Landmark team that they had easily beaten during the regular season is an example of being out coached. I think every other coach in the region would win the Class A private championship with the talent ELCA has. Just because you have great talent does not make you a great coach. I would actually like to see what Coach Gess could do with the far lesser talent at Pace, Mt. Vernon or Strong Rock. Would he actually move the win meter even one game for any of these schools? You cannot coach up a 165 pound lineman at any of these schools to stop the 265 pound spead, strength and talent of an Isaac Rochelle. I fully await Swamp Lizard’s response telling me and others that Coach Gess has actually done a great coaching job this season without addressing addressing the underachievements (yes, I know that was last season and years before that). Find me a coach in Class A who would not want to exchange their roster for the ELCA roster.

Also, please post the first defense and the second team offense.

EL CAbong

December 12th, 2012
3:21 pm

@ Realist…….It’s called Coach of the Year, not Coach of Last Year, or Best Program Rebuiler of the Year ! This year’s ELCA team is far, far better than last yrs. I guess you wouldn’t agree with Saban ever getting Coach of the Year because his players are too good. I understand that you think he should win with that kind of talent, but I sure hope you don’t think you could step in and win the State Championship with ELCA’s squad. It does take a little sideline coaching, not arm chair quaterbacking.

EL CAbong

December 12th, 2012
3:22 pm


December 12th, 2012
3:43 pm

EL CAbong – Interesting that you could not or chose not to rebut my position that any coach in the region could win with your talent or that Coach Gess could move the win meter at Pace, Mt. Vernon or Strong Rock.

Great coaching sometimes can overcome superior talent, so the opposite can also happen where the coaching is not up to the level of talent and an inferior team wins. Aisde form the loss to a highly rated Class AAA opponent, the ELCA coaching has not produced one more win that was expected.

I also believe your not willing to trade your roster for any other in Class A.

As for Saban, a better coaching job this year after loosing so much talent to the NFL off the prior year roster. I would not begrude him coach of the year this year in anyway provided they beat Notre Dame. If they loose, it has to be Kelly. On a completely different tangent regarding Saban, my guess is he goes to the NFL after this season. I am not a Tide hater, I hope they crush Notre Dame and put them back where they belong.

Todd Holcomb

December 12th, 2012
4:20 pm

There is only a first-team offense and first-team defense. The defense was mislabeled on the original. No second team or HM.

Swamp Lizard

December 12th, 2012
4:29 pm

@ Realist … OK, here I am. I’m not hear to argue with you, just to give you my take. First off, I want to agree with you on a couple things. Yes, there are coaches all over the state that would love to have the talent that’s on ELCA’s team this year. I will also agree with you that he “might” have got outcoached in last years semi-finals against Landmark. He’s a young coach, I think he’s only 30 or 31. To to become a great coach, you have to go through growing pains, and that Landmark game last year was diffently a game he learned and grew from. That was evident this year.
As far as what he could do with Strong Rock, Pace, or any other schools out there, I have ZERO doubt that he would turn those programs around. Ask this question to yourself … what was ELCA before he arrived? ELCA had winning seasons, but we were never a threat to win a state championship. As a Man … a Christian Man, I’m so thankful that my son has been under his guidance during all his years of playing football. Coach Gess has built ELCA into the “program” that it is today. I have seen it first hand with my son and all these other players. I can promise you, if you had a son playing football, you would be so thankful as a father to turn your child over to a man, a Christian, and a football coach like him … just as thankful as I have been. I would never put pressure on him, but I don’t think you’ve seen his best work yet … just wait til next year!

EL CAbong

December 12th, 2012
4:53 pm

@ Realist……….I am also a Realist, and of course any other coach would love to trade teams with Gess. That’s not even up for debate. Swamp said Gess may have been out-coached last yr in the Landmark game. That may have been the case, but then again, ELCA and L’mark were much more closely matched last year as far as talent goes. We have played several teams that had athletes similar to ours, i.e Hapeville Charter, but we blasted them. If you haven’t seen ELCA play in person, you may not realize how well they execute, which is hard to get a bunch of 15-17 yr old boys to do. I’m not saying Gess is the Greatest of All Time, but it would have been easy to think we could out-talent everybody and get embarresed a few times. We did not !


December 12th, 2012
4:55 pm

Swamp Lizard – Thanks for the input and interesting information about Coach Gess. I do not know the man, but the items you mentioned are appealing to me as a parent. I wish him all th ebest in that respect. My son had good leadership from his coaches like you describe, but unfortunately the football results were just not that good. Just can’t seem to get the athletic talent due to the academics and tuition cost at my son’s school.

Swamp Lizard

December 12th, 2012
5:44 pm

@ Realist … I wish your son and coaches the best. Just keep working hard and good things will come. Enjoyed our conversation.


December 13th, 2012
8:00 am

Swamp Lizard – I enjoyed our conversation also. Hope you guys win today. Region 5 was by far the most difficult this year and would like to see you guys have the championship to prove it.

Swamp Lizard

December 13th, 2012
8:37 am

Enter your comments here

Swamp Lizard

December 13th, 2012
8:42 am

@ Realist … I hope we can pull it off too! It has been some journey up to this point …. with highs …… the Region Championships and big wins along the way …… & lows ….. losing in 2010 to Clinch Co ( playoffs ) & last year to Landmark in the semi-finals. But we have kept fighting the fight and we’re just 4 qtrs away from the dream coming true. I’m sure Prince Ave and all their fans feel the same way. I do wish them and their payers the best too.

I wonder fan

December 17th, 2012
8:59 pm

Great season for ELCA. Coach Gess and Co. had a perfect season, Congratulations to all of the players because they all participated in this season in practice and in the games…and ultimately in the BIG DANCE where they executed patience and dominance. God Bless the ELCA football program and keep the high standard in single A because it will bring all of the other teams to a high level. See you in 2013!