The Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) recently announced their 2011 All-State Football Teams and three Marshall County players were honored in selection to the squad, beginning with Forrest senior center Eli Perryman in 2A, along with two 4A Marshall County Tigers in their record-breaking tailback Trevor Irizarry and a repeat selection in standout defensive lineman Davey Maddox.
Perryman's story is one of courage and determination for a player diminutive in size, but his extra large heart, work ethic, and will to succeed paided off as he went on to have an outstanding senior season for the Rockets.
"This is one of the most rewarding moments of my coaching career," said former Forrest head coach Kyle Stacey, who felt the pain of Perryman's struggles for four years.
Stacey added, "Somehow, there was always something that kept him from getting in there."
The 5'8" 211 pound Perryman overcame injuries in each of his first three seasons before blossoming as the Forrest offense put up over 4,000 yards of total offense on their way to an impressive 8-4 season and second round playoff appearance after many pundits and predictors picked the Rockets to finish in the bottom half of District 9-A.
Stacey added, "Every year there is that player that steps up and surprises you and Eli was that player this year. There were many opportunities for him to give up, but his work ethic and the guidance at home that he has, eventually paid off for him as he got in there and did an outstanding job."
Perryman was also selected to the District 9-A All-Season Team.
And it was just in time for MCHS head coach Tom Turchetta's squad.
"We were not really sure what we had in Trevor," said Turchetta, "He got hurt in passing camp and then got in the doghouse a little bit, but he worked and worked, did everything we asked from him and went on to have a fantastic year."
Irizarry had a record-breaking 2011 campaign as the Tigers' featured running back scored 24 touchdowns, while setting the all-time single season school rushing record with 2,038 yards.
"Anytime, on any level when you rush for 2,000 yards in a season it is a great accomplishment," said Turchetta.
The Region 12-AA Offensive Most Valuable Player also had the single most productive night ever for a Tiger running back when he ran for 319 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries in a 39-18 win over East Hickman on Oct. 28 at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg.
"Trevor made great plays all year on just sheer speed and ability," said Turchetta.
"Davey had a monster three years for us," said Turchetta. "He is just a great football player and a great leader, who ties our whole team together."
Maddox was recently named the Defensive MVP of Region 12-AA and he earned it with big play after big play, coming up with some crucial sacks and bone-crushing hits during a season that saw the Tigers (9-4) reach the third round of the playoffs for only the third time in their storied history.
"Every single time we needed a big play, Davey was there," said Turchetta. "He always relished being in the middle of everything and I can't think of a kid more deserving of this honor than Davey."