NASHVILLE – Falling just 16 yards short of the 2,000-yard rushing mark during his senior season, White House tailback Grant Wicker was named the overall Most Valuable Player of District 9-AA at a banquet to honor football award winners Monday night at the Wildhorse Saloon.
Wicker rushed 360 times for 1,984 yards and 18 touchdowns, leading the Blue Devils to a Class 4-A quarterfinal appearance for the third season in a row.
“Grant is a warrior,” White House head coach Jeff Porter said. “He has played injured since week three and never complained. You can watch the other players on the team and see how much they respect him and how much he inspires them by his sacrifice to put the team first.”
Porter was also named the District 9-AA Coach of the Year after his team won the district championship in the regular season with a 4-1 record.
Porter’s last such award was in 2008 in Region 5-3A when the Blue Devils advanced to the Class 3-A semifinals. Completing his 26th season at White House, he now has an overall record of 230-96. Coaches James Honeycutt and Ryan Hamilton of White House were named the 2012 Assistants of the Year in District 9-AA.
Eleven total players were named as award winners from the Blue Devils, and four players were selected at-large for the team. District 9-AA will change next season, as Goodpasture and Macon County are departing, and White House Heritage joins Cheatham County and Harpeth as new members. Sycamore, Greenbrier, Westmoreland and White House all stay put.
“It is a huge honor for these young men to be recognized by the coaches in this district,” Porter explained. “It also recognizes the commitment of their fellow teammates and the sacrifices of these young men and their families.”
Junior Taylor Wood was named the Co-Defensive Most Valuable Player. He led the team with 124 tackles, including seven for losses, with two fumbles caused, one recovery and an interception. He was joined in the Defensive MVP honors by Lane Troutt of Westmoreland and Jason Arrington of Goodpasture. Dillon Bright of Sycamore was the Offensive MVP.
“Taylor is a student of the game and he is a very intelligent football player,” Porter said. “He led the team in tackles and is essentially our quarterback on defense. He was the leader on that side of the ball and the other players look to him. I am glad he is returning next year.”
Three players captured honors on the offensive line: seniors Jarrison English (tackle), Zach Morris (guard) and Micah Kelly (center). Senior split end Chris Mullins caught 24 passes for 340 yards and returned 16 kicks for 406 yards with two touchdowns combined and was selected at wide receiver.
Junior defensive end Wesley James was named to the defensive line/defensive end slot. He was fourth on the team with 68 total tackles but led the team with five sacks and 21 tackles for loss, including 12 quarterback hurries and seven passes tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Senior Ethan Hoffman was picked at linebacker, second on the team with117 tackles, including nine for losses and five passes broken up and two fumbles caused.
In the defensive secondary, White House had two players honored. Senior Jordan Huskey finished with 56 tackles and three interceptions, and junior Bailey Burns was third on the team with 72 tackles and nine for losses. Both players were safeties.
Rounding out the award winners was a repeat honor for Chase Dunlap, the senior kicker. He finished perfect at 20-for-20 on PAT, made 8-of-13 field goals, and kicked off 34 times for 24 touchbacks and a total of 1,927 yards.
As the first place team, White House received four other players at-large. Junior quarterback Ryan Pool joined senior offensive tackle Zack Escue, senior split end/defensive back Caleb Sabin, and sophomore split end/defensive back Josh Mullins.