Ten Pulaski County Cougars placed 11 positions on the 2018 All-River Ridge football team voted upon by district head coaches. Junior Gage Mannon made the team as a first team defensive back, and also landed on the offensive first unit as a running back. Mannon was a stalwart all season defensively for the Cougars, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass. Offensively he led the team in scoring with 17 touchdowns for 112 points.
Senior E.J. Horton who caught 37 passes for 627 yards and scored 13 touchdowns for 78 points also made the first team offense along with senior kicker Ryan Castle who made 50 of 54 extra point kicks, and five of eight field goals for 65 points.
Senior defensive tackle Ben Arnett was first team for the Cougars, as was senior end Noah O’Dell who led the team with 10 quarterback sacks. Junior linebacker Austin Gallimore was also first team defense. He led the Cougars with 137 tackles, 14 of them for lost yardage.
Senior Jaxson Callahan was the second unit center and it was Callahan who led the way up front in the offensive line for Pulaski County in 2018. Senior Kade Akers was second unit quarterback. He connected on 77 of 143 passes for 1,096 yards. Junior Jacari Finely was also named to the second unit offense for Pulaski County. Finley ran for 766 yards. The Cougar named to the second unit defense was junior linebacker Luke Russel who was second on the team in quarterback sacks with 9, and also second in total tackles.
Blacksburg led the team with 15 players named, Salem had 12, Pulaski County 11, Patrick Henry six, Cave Spring five, Christiansburg five, and Hidden Valley also five. Mannon, Castle, Arnett, O’Dell, Gallimore, and Horton all made All-Region 4D.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot