Four Cannon County football players were named to the All-District 8-AA team for their efforts during the 2011 season.
Head Football Coach Joel Schrenk announced the honors during the team's banquet last week, while also revealing the team award winners.
Juniors Ryan McLaurine and Cody Petro earned first-team All-District honors, while sophomore Dalton Ryan was named to the second team. Junior Justin Tobin earned a specialty award for being named District 8-AA's most outstanding punter.
"All four of those players are deserving of the recognition they received," Schrenk said. "They, along with some others, had good results this season and it is good to see kids who work hard and have success get recognized."
Tobin averaged 35.5 yards on his 32 punts with a long of 55. He had six punts of 50 yards or more during the 2011 campaign. He is the second Lion to receive the 8-AA Punter of the Year Award in as many years. Colin Jones was the 2010 recipient. Schrenk credits a summer kicking camp with former Tennessee place-kicker James Wilhoit, along with work ethic, for the success.
"During the summer before the 2010 season some supporters wanted to know what they could do to help the program," Schrenk said. "We came up with the kicking camp to get our kickers some help in that area. James Wilhoit has been here two summers and it has helped. The kids have put in the work but they have picked up techniques and ways of going things correctly and it has made a difference."
McLaurine was a two-way starter, seeing action as an offensive lineman and linebacker, but it was defense that got McLaurine noticed. He led the Lions with 76 tackles, including 11 for loss.
"Ryan is a warrior out there, and he always gives you all he has," Schrenk said. "He was consistent for us all season."
Petro enjoyed a breakout year in his first season as a Lion. The junior receiver earned first-team honors after proving to be a strong all-purpose performer for the Lions. He had 48 receptions for 604 yards and team-best five touchdowns. He also had 25 kick returns for 468 yards.
"Cody was solid for us all season," Schrenk said. "He provided us with speed and a deep threat. He played defense. He is also a tough kid. Cody took some hits and just kept coming back. We look forward to even bigger things from him next season."
Ryan was another two-way starter who rarely came off of the field. He starred as a tackle on the offensive line and led the way on the defensive line. Ryan was second on the team with 51 tackles. He had six tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He is a two-time all-district selection.
"Ryan has had two good years to start his career and he's earned all-district both years," Schrenk said. "He is a really good player, and he has a chance to be a great one if he continues to work hard and develop."
Schrenk also announced the winner of the 2011 team awards. They were as follows: Ryan McLaurine, Lion Award; Cody Petro, Ron Walker Sportsmanship Award; Thomas Stone, Steve Reed Lineman Award; Justin Weaver, Karen Roberts Hustle Award; Cody Petro, best offensive back/receiver; Ryan McLaurine, best offensive lineman; Ryan McLaurine, best linebacker; Dalton Ryan, best defensive lineman; and Justin Tobin, best defensive back.