Wild, McWilliams named Mr. Football semifinalists

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Marshall County High School senior Cain McWilliams (2) has been selected as one of four semifinalists for the 2016 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Award in Class 4A. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

In a Saturday morning announcement by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), Forrest's Slayton Wild (2A) and Marshall County's Cain McWilliams (4A) were selected as one of four semifinalists for the 2016 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Award.

The two seniors have led their squads to identical 10-1 records, region titles and number one seeds with home field advantage throughout the first four rounds of the playoffs that began Friday night.

The Tigers crushed East Hamilton 46-0 at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg in the first round Friday night and host archrival Giles County (8-3) this week in round two.

The Rockets pulled off a 20-14 come from behind win over Chattanooga Tyner Academy in round one and host Meigs County (10-1) Friday night at Murrey E. Holton Memorial Field in Chapel Hill.

Two finalists for each category will be announced by Mike Keith on the Titans website at www.titansonline.com on Tuesday, November 15 at 11:00 a.m. CST / 12:00 p.m. EST. The two finalists for each award will be the ones invited to attend the awards luncheon at Nissan Stadium, where the winner of each award will be announced.

Local nominees

McWilliams, a transfer from Lincoln County and an MTSU commit, has rushed for 298 yards with nine touchdowns on offense and has been a defensive stalwart for the Tigers, coming up with 56 solo tackles, 16 assists, 10 sacks, one blocked kick and a two fumble recoveries, including one Friday night that went for a touchdown for the stingy MCHS defense that has allowed 9.5 points per game this season.

McWilliams also had offers from South Carolina, Georgia State, Tennessee Tech, UT Martin and TSU before deciding to play for Blue Raiders.

Wild has six catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns and has rushed for 605 yards on 90 carries with five TD on offense, while making 24 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery for the Rockets' defense that has allowed a measly 10.5 points per game.

Forrest senior Slayton Wild is one of four semifinalists for the 2016 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Award in Class 2A.

Wild recently committed to Wofford over VMI and Morehead State.

The awards

A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance in the 2016 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration. High school head coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.

"We are very excited and appreciative about being involved with the Tennessee Titans for the 10th consecutive year," stated Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA. "They have helped make the recognition of these 68 student-athletes, their families, and schools possible. The sponsorship of the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards and numerous contributions to high schools across the state since the team moved to Tennessee have meant a great deal to the member schools of the TSSAA."

This is the 32nd year that the Mr. Football Awards have been presented to Tennessee's best high school football players. A Mr. Football trophy will be presented to the winners of each category. A Mr. Football plaque will be presented to the runner-up in each category. The other semi-finalists will each receive a certificate.

More than 400 people, including the 34 finalists, their families, coaches, school administrators and members of the media from all parts of the state, are expected to attend the 2016 luncheon.

Mike Keith, play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Titans, will emcee the awards presentation. A live videostream of the awards will be provided at www.titansonline.com.

CLASS 1A LINEMAN

Mitchell Butner, South Pittsburg

Brant Lawless, Nashville Christian

Spencer Norrod, Monterey

Josh Silvey, Greenback

CLASS 2A LINEMAN

Alex Kirkendoll, Marion County

Hunter McClain, Marion County

Donald Staats, Watertown

Slayton Wild, Forrest

CLASS 3A LINEMAN

Hunter Davenport, Sequatchie County

Jacob Phillips, East Nashville

Jacob Rimmer, Milan

Jack Warwick, Alcoa

CLASS 4A LINEMAN

Letrall Bumphus, Hardin County

Cade Mays, Knoxville Catholic

Cain McWilliams, Marshall County

Rutger Reitmaier, Lipscomb

CLASS 5A LINEMAN

Maleik Gray, LaVergne

Trevis Hopper, Memphis Central

Eli Katina, Centennial

Mike Rhoades, Campbell County

CLASS 6A LINEMAN

T.D. Blackmon, Maryville

D.J. Delfendahl, Mt. Juliet

Aubrey Miller, Whitehaven

Max Wray, Franklin

DII-A LINEMAN

Morgan Ernst, Webb School of Knoxville

Will Lawrence, Harding Academy

Cole Lusby, The King's Academy

Trey Smith, USJ

DII-AA LINEMAN

Tanner Antonutti, Ensworth

Griffin Hawkins, Briarcrest

Giovanni Hightower-Reviere, McCallie

Dorian Hopkins, MUS

CLASS 1A BACK

Preston Rice, Wayne County

Kayne Roberts, Greenback

Dresser Winn, Dresden

D.J. Taylor, Huntland

CLASS 2A BACK

Darius Harper, Austin-East

Caleb Johnson, MAHS

Seth Price, Watertown

Cordarrian Richardson, Trezevant

CLASS 3A BACK

Terrell Carter, Stratford

Hunter Davenport, Sequatchie County

Tykee Kellogg, Alcoa

Cole Smith, CAK

CLASS 4A BACK

Antwuan Branch, Kenwood

Chase Kuerschen, Knoxville Catholic

Amari Rodgers, Knoxville Catholic

Timothy Taylor, Memphis East

CLASS 5A BACK

Caden Harbin, Knoxville Halls

Tee Higgins, Oak Ridge

Jordan Mason, Gallatin

Jacob Murphree, Dickson County

CLASS 6A BACK

Cole Copeland, Bradley Central

Dylan Hopkins, Maryville

JaCoby Stevens, Oakland

Kylan Watkins, Whitehaven

DII-A BACK

Calvin Austin III, Harding Academy

Eric Gray, Lausanne

Chase Hayden, St. George's

Elijah Howard, Webb School of Knoxville

DII-AA BACK

Ben Brooks, Pope John Paul II

Ty Chandler, MBA

Jeremiah Oatsvall, Brentwood Academy

Robert Riddle, McCallie

KICKER OF THE YEAR

Joe Doyle, Farragut

Jake McClure, East Hamilton

Jacob Smith, Siegel

Adam Williams, Wilson Central