Six players and three coaches earned recognition, and the program was named the Team of the Year, during Thursday’s Cobb County Touchdown Club Banquet at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.
Tyler Queen was named Player of the Year, concluding a breakout season that saw him throw for 2,607 yards and 23 touchdowns, run for 925 yards and another 20 touchdowns, and lead his team to the state semifinals for the first time since 1959.
Queen said he wouldn’t have had the kind of year he did without the help of his teammates.
“We had a special group of guys,” said Queen, a Class AAAAAA all-state first-teamer and the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Offensive Player of the Year. “It was a great team to be part of. This is a good way to end (the 2012 season.”
Queen was joined by his father, Shane Queen, who was named Coach of the Year. North Cobb also had coordinators Tom Clark and Chad McGehee named the Offensive Coach of the Year and Defensive Coach of the Year, respectively.
“There are so many great coaches in the room (Thursday),” Shane Queen said. “What John East did at Walker, Mike Collins at Wheeler, Scott Burton at Marietta — I just don’t know if any one person deserves (being named Coach of the Year).”
Queen also won the Corky Kell Excellence in Coaching Award. With the award, named after the late Wheeler coach and namesake of Kell High School, came a $1,000 award present by Kell’s widow, Carole.
Heading into the 2012 season, North Cobb had not won a state playoff game since 1959, and Shane Queen had coached for 12 years at South Cobb and North Cobb without a playoff victory of his own. That changed in a big way this season as the Warriors rolled all the way to the state semifinals with the most prolific offense Cobb County has ever seen.
The Warriors averaged 41 points, scoring 574 points over the stretch of their 14-game season. The 11-3 record was the best of the program’s history.
“It was huge for our program to get back that deep in the playoffs,” Queen said. “What it’s done is brought the younger players back more driven and anxious to get ready for next season.”
North Cobb dispatched Valdosta in the first round of the state playoffs, the same night that Marietta traveled to Lowndes and came out victorious. It was something former McEachern coach and current athletic director Jimmy Dorsey said proved just how far Cobb County football has come in recent years.
“It shows that we are right there,” he said. “We are getting closer each year to winning that long-awaited state championship. For North Cobb and Marietta to wipe out a pair of teams from Lowndes County, I know we are all proud of that.”
While North Cobb may have had the county cornered on offense, one of the best defenses belonged to Kell. One of the big reasons for that was the presence of defensive back Brendan Langley.
Langley earned Defensive Player of the Year honors Thursday. For the season, he had 39 tackles, and a county-leading six interceptions. He also contributed on offense, catching 33 passes for 744 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The honor was one Langley did not take lightly.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” the Georgia commitment said, “but I can’t say I never expected to be in this position, because this is what I work for.”
Langley, who was earlier named the Class AAAAA Defensive Player of the Year, first-team all-state and the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Defensive Player of the Year, tried to put his experience of this season in perspective.
“I’m currently reading a book called ‘There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile,’” he said. “It’s a good read. It says it’s up to you to make (your breaks, your dreams, your goals) happen. Whatever I do, whatever I become, it’s up to me.”
North Cobb and Kell tied for the most players on the touchdown club’s all-county team, with six apiece.
Other players earning superlatives Thursday included Marietta’s Anthony Jennings (Offensive Player of the Year) and Lassiter’s Eddie Printz (Quarterback of the Year). Neither player was in attendance as they have already enrolled in their respective colleges, LSU and Missouri.
North Cobb’s Xavier Borishade was named the Receiver of the Year, Walton’s Tyren Jones was the Running Back of the Year and Jones’ teammate, Brandon Kublanow, was the Offensive Lineman of the Year.
On the defensive side of the ball were North Cobb’s Eghosa Agbonghae (Defensive Lineman of the Year), Lassiter’s Josh Danforth (Linebacker of the Year) and Kell’s Quincy Mauger (Defensive Back of the Year honors).
Walker’s Evan Kasian earned the 48-Minute Man of the Year award for his work in all units of the Wolverines’ undefeated regular season
The senior rushed for 2,080 yards and 27 touchdowns — earning Class A first-team all-state honors as a running back — started on defense and filled in on special teams when necessary.