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Four Cavaliers make all-state team

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

HOGANSVILLE – The Callaway Cavaliers are well-represented on a preseason all-state team that was unveiled this week.

Recruit Georgia has released its Class AA all-state preseason team, and there are four Callaway players on it, two on offense, and two on defense.

On offense, Callaway senior running back DJ Atkins made the team, as did one of the men who will be blocking for him, offensive lineman Keiondre Jones.

Atkins had a breakout 2016 season when he ran for 2,166 yards on 306 carries with 14 touchdowns.

While Atkins has the speed to leave opposing defenders in his wake, he also doesn’t hesitate to plunge headfirst into traffic to gain extra yards.

“It takes a special person to do that. And he’s not afraid to hit it up between the tackles,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “He takes a lot of pride in it. He’s paid the price to develop. You see his hand on the back of the offensive lineman so many times. He’s just waiting on the play to develop, and then he makes a cut. He’s not a big guy. He’s 165 pounds, and to carry the ball 25, 30 times a game, it shows a toughness. It shows his dedication and belief in his offensive line.”

Jones, a junior, has been starting since he was a freshman.

Jones was being recruited by the likes of Alabama before he even started high school, and the interest level among college programs has sky-rocketed since.

Last season, Jones led the team with 23 pancake blocks.

On defense, senior lineman Lichon Terrell and senior defensive back Courtney Williams both made the Recruit Georgia team.

Terrell, a senior, had 66 tackles with 18 tackles for loss last season, and Williams had 47 tackles, two interceptions and two pass break-ups.