Six Pulaski County football players have made the Class 4D All-Region football team for 2018. Four Cougars made first team and two were selected to the second unit by vote of the region coaches.
Two Cougars made the first team defense. Junior linebacker Austin Gallimore led the team in tackles with 137 and 14 of those were for lost yardage. Junior strong safety Gage Mannon was a key all-around player for the Cougars all season, and also a team standout in tackles and pass defense, and was also named to the first team.
Offensively E.J. Horton was first team at wide receiver with 37 catches for 627 yards, and nine touchdowns, a 16.9 yard per catch average. Also named to the first team offense was senior kicker Ryan Castle who connected on 50 of 54 extra point kicks, and five of eight field goals. It was his 46-yarder that was the difference in the big playoff win at Danville. Castle finished with 65 kicking points.
There were also two seniors named to the second unit defense. Noah O’Dell was named as an end and he led the Cougars with 10 quarterback sacks for the season. The other was stalwart, quick defensive tackle Ben Arnett. O’Dell and Arnett were key players, along with Gallimore and Mannon in what was the best Pulaski County defensive unit in the past 10 years.
Blacksburg’s Eddie Sloss was named Coach of the Year, Bruin quarterback Grant Johnston was named Offensive Player of the Year, and E.C. Glass lineman Damon Fretz was named Defensive Player of the Year.
The breakdown for the entire team, both the first and second units were Blacksburg with 14 players being named, E.C. Glass with 11 players, Salem eight, William Byrd seven, GW-Danville six, Pulaski County six, Jefferson Forest five, Amherst five, Bassett one, and Carroll County one. The team also included an all-purpose offensive player to each unit, kickers, punters, and kick returners for both first and second team.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot