Arik Gilbert is already enrolled at LSU, but the former Marietta tight end and many other star players from the 2019 Georgia high school football season got a final honor Friday, when the Georgia Sports Writers Association released its all-state team.
Gilbert, who had 105 receptions for 1,860 yards and 15 touchdowns for state champion Marietta, is the GSWA’s Class AAAAAAA offensive player of the year.
Other GSWA classification players of the year include Dalton 2,000-yard rusher Jahmyr Gibbs (AAAAAA offensive player of the year), North Gwinnett defensive end Jared Ivey (AAAAAAA defensive player of the year), Lanier linebacker Phillip Webb (AAAAAA defensive player of the year) and Peach County linebacker Sergio Allen (AAA defensive player of the year).
Gibbs and Ivey have signed with Georgia Tech, Webb with LSU and Allen with Clemson.
The GSWA all-state team, produced annually since 1994 and dating back further, is typically released in January, but the association’s executive director emeritus, Stan Awtrey, explained the growing challenges of getting it out on time.
‘’Because of the changes in the industry and with all the personnel changes at member newspapers, it just sort of fell through the cracks,’’ Awtrey said.
The Georgia High School Association has expanded to seven classifications, or what might be called eight with a public and private split in Class A. Until 2000, there were only four classes, so the task of compiling a ballot of worthy players from eight classes is tougher than it used to be. And there aren’t as many newspapers covering high school sports as there were then.
‘’It's a huge undertaking, whether you have 15 or 20 people involved or by yourself.’’ said Michael Lough, editor of the Sports Report of Central Georgia and a former sports writer with the Macon Telegraph. ‘’It's hard to imagine not having an all-state team. Area and state teams actually give people a reason to look at stuff because it's about performance, not hype."
The GSWA's all-state team is one of four published for the 2019 season. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Recruit Georgia released theirs in December. The Georgia Coaches Athletic Association's team, selected by head coaches, is done in February.
‘’The GSWA all-state team is the one that is decided by media members throughout the state of Georgia,’’ said Steve Carter, a contributor to GPB and Score Atlanta who began covering high school games in Georgia in 1983, as a high school junior. “I think, even late, it was important to get this team out. The players deserved the recognition, and I feel it was our responsibility to give it to them. It is a tradition.’’
Ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opening. There are no spring sports, and Georgia schools are shut down early, freeing up the time.
Other GSWA voters were Justin Baxley (Macon Telegraph), Chris Beckham (WVGA Radio/Valdosta), John Bednarowski (Marietta Daily Journal), Will Cheney (Augusta Chronicle), Will Hammock (Gwinnett Daily Post), Scott Herpst (Walker County Messenger), Dennis Knight (Savannah Morning News), Derrick Mahone (Douglas County Sentinel), Jon Nelson (GPB), Daniel Shirley (The Athletic), Matt Stewart (GPB), John Sullivan (Griffin Daily News) and Awtrey.
GSWA 2019 all-state football team:
Offensive Player of the Year: Arik Gilbert, Marietta
Defensive Player of the Year: Jared Ivey, North Gwinnett
Coach of the Year: Richard Morgan, Marietta
QB Harrison Bailey, Marietta, Sr.
RB Cody Brown, Parkview, Jr.
RB Daijun Edwards, Colquitt County, Sr.
WR Josh Downs, North Gwinnett, Sr.
WR Ricky White, Marietta, Sr.
TE Arik Gilbert, Marietta, Sr.
OL Ethan Lane, Archer, Sr.
OL Micah Morris, Camden County, Jr.
OL Jake Wray, Marietta, Sr.
OL Trey Zimmerman, Roswell, Sr.
OL Paul Tchio, Milton, Sr.
ATH Jacurri Brown, Lowndes, So.
DL Jared Ivey, North Gwinnett, Sr.
DL Jamil Burroughs, McEachern, Sr.
DL B.J. Ojulari, Marietta, Sr.
DL Myles Murphy, Hillgrove, Sr.
LB Gary Osby, Lowndes, Sr.
LB Barrett Carter, North Gwinnett, Jr.
LB Kobe Wilson, Parkview, Sr.
DB Doneiko Slaughter, Roswell, Sr.
DB Rashad Torrence, Marietta, Sr.
DB Taylor Goodson, North Gwinnett, Sr.
DB Jack Rhodes, Milton, Sr.
PK Noland McCord, Parkview, Sr.
P Brock Travelstead, North Paulding, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Jahmyr Gibbs, Dalton
Defensive Player of the Year: Phillip Webb, Lanier
Coach of the Year: Matt Dickman, Harrison
QB Tate Rodemaker, Valdosta, Sr.
RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Dalton, Sr.
RB Jalen Rouse, Richmond Hill, Sr.
WR Asante Das, Allatoona, Sr.
WR Parker Self, South Paulding, Sr.
TE Miles Campbell, South Paulding, Jr.
OL Jordan Williams, Gainesville, Sr.
OL John Williams, Creekview, Sr.
OL Riley Adcock, Dacula, Sr.
OL Parker Rodgers, Lee County, Sr.
OL Nick Lundberg, Allatoona, Sr.
ATH T.K Mack, North Atlanta, Sr.
DL Simeon Barrow, Grovetown, Sr.
DL Makius Scott, Gainesville, Sr.
DL Nathan Vickers, Richmond Hill, Jr.
DL JaQuari Wiggles, Mays, Sr.
LB Phillip Webb, Lanier, Sr.
LB Wesley Steiner, Houston County, Sr.
LB Khatavian Franks, Creekside, Sr.
DB Victor Pless, Harrison, Sr.
DB Jimmy Calloway, Morrow, Sr.
DB Kaleb Edwards, Dacula, Jr.
DB Caleb McDowell, Lee County, Jr.
PK Jude Kelley, Allatoona, Sr.
P Chase Gabriel, Glynn Academy, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Jontavis Robertson, Jones County
Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Swint, Carrollton
Coach of the Year: Bryant Appling, Buford
QB Jalen Addie, Warner Robins, Jr.
RB Jo’Quavious Marks, Carver-Atlanta, Sr.
RB O’Brien Barnett, Clarke Central, Sr.
WR Jontavis Robertson, Jones County, Sr.
WR Jairus Mack, Clarke Central, Jr.
TE Billy Ward, Locust Grove, Sr.
OL Broderick Jones, Lithonia, Sr.
OL Seth McLaughlin, Buford, Sr.
OL Austin Blaske, South Effingham, Sr.
OL Conner Griffin, Jones County, Sr.
OL Quantavious Leslie, Rome, Sr.
ATH Sam Brown, New Hampstead, Sr.
DL William Anderson, Dutchtown, Sr.
DL Vincent Dinkins, Kell, Sr.
DL Damarjhe Lewis, Griffin, Sr.
DL Nazir Stackhouse, Columbia, Sr.
LB Kevin Swint, Carrollton, Sr.
LB Ahmad Walker, Warner Robins, Jr.
LB Michael Mincey, Ware County, Jr.
DB T. Lee, Buford, Sr.
DB Sheldon Arnold, Loganville, Sr.
DB Tommy Wright, Southwest DeKalb, Sr.
DB Cole Bishop, Starr’s Mill, Jr.
PK Hayden Olsen, Buford, Sr.
P Daniel Gibbs, Veterans, Jr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Mike Wright, Woodward Academy
Defensive Player of the Year: Bradyn Swinson, Chapel Hill
Coach of the Year: Tim McFarlin, Blessed Trinity
QB Max Johnson, Oconee County, Sr.
RB Elijah Green, Blessed Trinity, Sr.
RB Khiari McCoy, Carver-Columbus, Sr.
WR Ze’Vian Capers, Demark, Sr.
WR Brent Carr, West Laurens, Sr.
TE James Bryant, Blessed Trinity, Sr.
OL Jackson Filipowicz, Blessed Trinity, Sr.
OL Jonah Gambill, Cartersville, Sr.
OL Kobe McAlister, Heritage, Sr.
OL Zaire Flournoy, Chapel Hill, Sr.
OL Nate Howard, Mary Persons, Sr.
ATH Mike Wright, Woodward Academy, Sr.
DL Bradyn Swinson, Chapel Hill, Sr.
DL Lane Phillips, Heritage, Sr.
DL Spencer Dacus, West Laurens, Sr.
DL Adam Weynand, North Oconee, Sr.
LB D’Eryk Jackson, West Laurens, Sr.
LB Aaron Washington, Woodward Academy, Sr.
LB West Weeks, Oconee County, Jr.
DB Brian Branch, Sandy Creek, Sr.
DB Chase Dial-Watson, Flowery Branch, Sr.
DB Quinton Reese, Blessed Trinity, Sr.
DB Ambe Caldwell, Woodward Academy, Sr.
PK Noah Jones, Cairo, Sr.
P Ezra King, Eastside, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Malachi Thomas, Hart County
Defensive Player of the Year: Sergio Allen, Peach County
Coach of the Year: Miguel Patrick, Cedar Grove
QB Ladd McConkey, North Murray, Sr.
RB Malachi Thomas, Hart County, Jr.
RB Chavron Wright, Cedar Grove, Sr.
WR Jaylon Barden, Westside Macon, Sr.
WR Za’tarious Anderson, Monroe, Sr.
TE Cane Berrong, Hart County, Jr.
OL Myles Hinton, Greater Atlanta Christian, Sr.
OL Avery Jernigan, Pierce County, Sr.
OL Terrance Ferguson, Peach County, Jr.
OL Mason Ware, Jefferson, Sr.
OL Colton Oliver, Crisp County, Sr.
ATH Shaheim Bailey, Stone Mountain, Jr.
DL Alvin Williams, Cedar Grove, Sr.
DL Demarius Jackson, Cedar Grove, Jr.
DL Taurus Simmons, Jenkins, Sr.
DL Akelo Stone, Jenkins, Sr.
LB Sergio Allen, Peach County, Sr.
LB Isaiah Ratcliff, Cedar Grove, Sr.
LB Choe Bryant-Strother, Greater Atlanta Christian, Sr.
DB Ronald Cooper, Jenkins, Sr.
DB Tee Denson, Cedar Grove, Sr.
DB Tyler Bride, Greater Atlanta Christian, Sr.
DB Anthony Henderson, Jackson, Sr.
PK Alex Bachetta, Westminster, So.
P Luke Holloway, Fannin County, Jr.
Offensive Player of the Year: JaQues Evans, Dublin
Defensive Player of the Year: Romelo Height, Dublin
Coach of the Year: Roger Holmes, Dublin
QB Gunner Stockton, Rabun County, So.
RB JaQues Evans, Dublin, Sr.
RB Tank Bigsby, Callaway, Sr.
WR Braxton Hicks, Rabun County, Sr.
WR Rico Powers, Hapeville Charter, Sr.
TE Payten Singletary, Thomasville, Sr.
OL Tate Johnson, Callaway, Sr.
OL Jabari Brooks, Washington County, Sr.
OL Ty McRae, Dublin, Sr.
OL Amarius Mims, Bleckley County, Jr.
OL Jakobee Mitchell, Brooks County, Sr.
ATH Bryce Bailey, Bleckley County, Sr.
DL Romello Height, Dublin, Sr.
DL Robert Lee, Hapeville Charter, Sr.
DL T.J. Davis, Metter, Sr.
DL Carlos Allen, Douglass, Sr.
LB Seth Hodges, Bremen, Sr.
LB Kydran Jenkins, Jefferson County, Sr.
LB Ty Anderson, Thomasville, So.
DB Chance Gamble, Fitzgerald, Jr.
DB Jalin Shephard, Callaway, Jr.
DB Enoch Howard, Hephzibah, Sr.
DB Josh Ross, Pepperell, Sr.
PK Hurston Waldrep, Thomasville, Sr.
P Joseph Weiers, Hapeville Charter, Sr.
Class A Public
Offensive Player of the Year: Trice McCannon, Marion County
Defensive Player of the Year: D.J. Lundy, Irwin County
Coach of the Year: Buddy Nobles, Irwin County
QB Trice McCannon, Marion County, Sr.
RB Tyler Morehead, Clinch County, Jr.
RB Kolbi Ferguson, Lincoln County, Sr.
WR Jamorri Colson, Irwin County, Sr.
WR Shakari Denson, Claxton, Jr.
TE Garland Benyard, Irwin County, Jr.
OL Austin Duffy, Marion County, Jr.
OL Cooper Smith, Bowdon, Sr.
OL Conner Kyle, Commerce, Sr.
OL Kameron Wideman, Montgomery County, Sr.
OL Bubba Johnson, Irwin County, Sr.
ATH James Thomas, Mitchell County, Sr.
DL Craig Harris, Clinch County, Jr.
DL JyQuez Marshall, Irwin County, Sr.
DL Zykevious Walker, Schley County, Sr.
DL Dominique Mills, Jenkins County, Jr.
LB D.J. Lundy, Irwin County, Sr.
LB Desmond Tisdol, Wilcox County, Sr.
LB Kendrick Hawkins, Marion County, Sr.
DB Gabriel Benyard, Irwin County, Jr.
DB Ben Fortson, Bowdon, Sr.
DB Darrell Starling, Pelham, Sr.
DB Antaevious Brown, Lincoln County, Sr.
PK Jorge Gonzalez, Claxton, Sr.
P Jackson Bostick, Baconton Charter, Sr.
Class A Private
Offensive Player of the Year: Keaton Mitchell, Eagle’s Landing Christian
Defensive Player of the Year: Jonathan Hammond, Mount Vernon Presbyterian
Coach of the Year: Jonathan Gess, Eagle’s Landing Christian
QB Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian, Jr.
RB Keaton Mitchell, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.
RB Michael Cox, Holy Innocents’, Sr.
WR Donnavan Moorer, Hebron Christian, Sr.
WR Justin Robinson, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.
TE Kaleb Park, Calvary Day, Sr.
ATH Niko Vangarelli, Mount Paran Christian, Sr.
OL Tanner Bivins, Wesleyan, Jr.
OL Shedrick Rhodes, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.
OL Charlie Patterson, Fellowship Christian, Jr.
OL Tate Ratledge, Darlington, Sr.
OL Trey Bedosky, Landmark Christian, Sr.
DL Marquis Black, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.
DL Jonathan Hammond, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, Sr.
DL Cade Brock, Darlington, Sr.
DL Andre Miller, Savannah Country Day, Sr.
LB Josh Aspinwall, Wesleyan, Sr.
LB Hunter Hawk, Holy Innocents’, Sr.
LB Josiah Cotton, Mount de Sales, Sr.
DB Kurt Knisely, Athens Academy, Sr.
DB Deion Colzie, Athens Academy, Jr.
DB Shamari Reed, Trinity Christian, Sr.
DB Micah Smith, Wesleyan, Sr.
PK Joe Dixon, Christian Heritage, Sr.
P Marshall Nichols, Holy Innocents’, Jr.