Five Pioneers named All-Conference in football
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga placed five players on the All-Northwestern Conference football team, which was released Sunday night.
Wide receiver Cam Baker, receiver DeWayne Mackey, defensive tackle Taylor Shuford, safety Nick McLean and center Wade Norris all made the team.
Watauga finished fifth in the NWC standings with a 2-4 league mark. The Pioneers were 5-7 overall.
Shuford, who also played on the Pioneers’ offensive line, led the team in tackles with 103. He had 151/2 tackles for losses of 66 yards. He also had 41/2 sacks for 33 yards in losses.
Mackey was second on the team in tackles with 80. He also intercepted five passes and forced two fumbles. Mackey also blocked a kick.
Baker led the Pioneers with 40 receptions for 711 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing two games with a sprained thumb. Baker also had three pass breakups while playing cornerback.
McLean finished with 51 tackles and five pass breakups at safety. He also broke up five passes and recovered a fumble. Two of his tackles went for losses of six yards.
Norris was a two-year starter at center for the Pioneers. He also played on the defensive line where he made 18 tackles.
South Caldwell led the conference with 12 selections, including Offensive Player of the Year Zac Pollard and Defensive Player of the Year Cody Bowman. South Caldwell’s Butch Carter was named the Coach of the Year for guiding the Spartans to a 12-1 overall record, 6-0 in the playoffs.
Alexander Central, which was 5-6 overall, 4-2 in the NWC, had 10 players on the team, including Special Teams Player of the Year Matt Quigley. Hibriten put 11 players on the team, while Hickory put 10.
St. Stephens finished with four players and Fred T. Foard put three.