In August, every high school football team sets its sights on a successful season.
Along the way, most fall by the wayside; the ones who remain generally ride a handful of talented players to reach the ultimate goal of a state championship.
The 2012 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State team reflects that success as each of the teams playing in an Alabama High School Athletic Association state championship game placed at least two players on the first team in their respective classes.
In addition, the 33 AHSAA players making the first team spread among six classes, another 20 players from teams in the Alabama Independent Schools Association three title games were also first team in that division.
The All-State team was chosen by a panel of the state’s high school writers earlier this month. The group, which includes North Jefferson News sports editor Robert Carter, also selected its finalists for Back and Linemen of the Year in each class, to be released on Saturday. The winners of those 14 awards, as well as the selection of Mr. Football, will be announced at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year luncheon, to be held in Montgomery on Jan. 16 and sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
Nominations were solicited from high school coaches by newspapers in their area as well as the ASWA; not every school responded to the request for information, but more than 1,100 players statewide were nominated.
In Class 6A, both champion Hoover and runner-up Opelika had two players each on the first team, in addition to Opelika’s Brian Blackmon selected as Coach of the Year. Class 5A had three players each from champion Spanish Fort and runner-up McAdory, with the Yellow Jackets’ David Powell named coach of the year.
Two players from Class 4A champion UMS-Wright made first team, while three from Oneonta – the No. 1 team in the ASWA poll from wire-to-wire – made the squad, while three from Class 3A winner Madison Academy and two more from runner-up Fayette County were picked. In Class 2A, champion Tanner placed four players on the first team, with Washington County earning three spots.