Posted: 10:16 am Thursday, January 7th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
Glades Day running back Kelvin Taylor and Dwyer linebacker Matt Elam were voted Player of the Year in their respective classifications and now are finalists for the state’s prestigious Mr. Football award.
Taylor, the Class 1B Player of the Year, rushed for 2,597 yards and 47 touchdowns in 14 games as a freshman for Glades Day. Of those totals, 1,158 yards and 19 touchdowns came in playoffs as Glades Day won a state championship.
Last year’s Class 1B winner, Jupiter Christian’s Will Powers, finished third in the voting.
Elam was the Class 4A Player of the Year and adds it to a length list of accolades. He has two Lou Groza awards as the top player in Palm Beach County and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Florida.
In his senior year with the Panthers, Elam had 61 tackles, including 15 for negative yards, at linebacker. As a running back, he rushed for 1,883 yards and 27 touchdowns on just 178 attempts in 15 games.
He amassed those numbers despite sitting out the second half of most of Dwyer’s games. The Panthers blew out most of their opponents and won the first state title in program history.
The voting is facilitated by the Florida Dairy Farmers Association and consists of statewide media and coaches.
By winning Player of the Year in their classifications, Elam and Taylor are on the final, eight-candidate ballot for Mr. Football.
The only local players to win that honor were Pahokee’s Anquan Boldin (1998) and Antone Smith (2004). Blue Devils senior Nu’Keese Richardson was the area’s highest finisher last season at fifth place.
Here are this year’s eight finalists:
Class 1B Player of the Year: Kelvin Taylor, Glades Day, freshman, RB
Class 1A Player of the Year: Ronald Jones, Fort Meade, junior, QB
Class 2B Player of the Year: Garrett Hammett, Callahan-West Nassau, senior, RB/DB
Class 2A Player of the Year: Matt Younger, Cocoa, senior, QB
Class 3A Player of the Year: Quentin Williams, Tampa-Jefferson, junior, QB
Class 4A Player of the Year: Matt Elam, Dwyer, senior, RB/LB
Class 5A Player of the Year: Lemarcus Joyner, Ft. Lauderdale-S.T.A., senior, WR
Class 6A Player of the Year: Jeffrey Godfrey, Miami Central, senior
Glades Central wide receiver Greg Dent, who was one of the area’s most dominant players on either side of the ball last season, finished second in the Class 2A Player of the Year voting.
In 14 games, Dent caught 54 passes for 1,387 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had 2 interceptions at cornerback and scored two special teams touchdowns. He was named a MaxPreps All-American earlier this week.
American Heritage senior Darius Millines, who played several positions for the Stallions finished second in Class 1A. During the regular season, Millines ran for 605 yards and 8 touchdowns, threw for 466 yards and 7 touchdowns and caught 4 passes for 67 yds and a touchdown. He scored four times in American Heritage’s state championship win over Jacksonville-Trinity Christian.
Treasure Coast linebacker Jeff Luc finished second in Class 6A. Luc had 103 tackles, 14 for negative yardage, and helped the Titans to their first playoff appearance.
Despite producing three state champions, the area did not have a Coach of the Year winner.
Dwyer’s Jack Daniels, Glades Central’s Jessie Hester and Glades Day’s Pete Walker each finished second. Willie Bueno, head coach at American Heritage, was third in Class 1A. Daniels, Walker and Bueno each won a title last month.
Here are the complete lists of past Mr. Football and Coach of the year winners:
Previous Mr. Football Winners
1992 – Jammi German, Ft. Myers
1993 – Shevin Wiggins, Bradenton-Manatee
1994 – Daunte Culpepper, Ocala-Vanguard
1995 – Frankie Franklin, Jacksonville-Sandalwood
1996 – Travis Henry, Frostproof
1997 – Zain Gilmore, Tampa-Robinson
1998 – Anquan Boldin, Pahokee
1999 – Willie Green, Kissimmee-Osceola
2000 – Adrian McPherson, Bradenton-Southeast
2001 – Leon Washington, Jacksonville-Jackson
2002 – Andre Reese, Pierson Taylor
2003 – Xavier Lee, Daytona-Seabreeze
2004 – Antone Smith, Pahokee
2005 – Tim Tebow, Ponte Vedra-Nease
2006 – Robert Marve, Tampa-Plant
2007 – Jacory Harris, Miami Northwestern
2008 – A.J. Graham, Tallahassee-Godby
Previous Coach of the Year Winners
1992 – Wally Dunne, Coral Springs
1993 – Paul Maechtle, Bradenton-Southeast
1994 – Rod Shafer, Lake Wales
1995 – Bob Withrow, Jacksonville-Sandalwood
1996 – Robby Pruitt, Union County
1997 – Danny Green, Lake City-Columbia
1998 – Bill Castle, Lakeland
1999 – Milton Watson, Glades Central
2000 – Nick Coleman, Venice
2001 – Al Morrell, Clewiston
2002 – Richard Wood, Tampa-Wharton
2003 – Bill Kramer, Naples
2004 – Bill Castle, Lakeland
2005 – Joey Wiles, St. Augustine
2006 – Robert Weiner, Tampa-Plant
2007 – Billy Rolle, Miami Northwestern
2008 – Robert Weiner, Tampa-Plant