All-County awards are decided by The Robesonian’s Rodd Baxley and Jonathan Bym based on statistics, overall team performance and on-field impressions.
Coach of the Year: Lawrence Ches, Red Springs — In his first year as head coach of the Red Devils, Ches led the squad to its best record since 2012. Red Springs finished at 9-4, including a 6-3 mark in conference play to finish fourth behind tri-champions East Bladen, Whiteville and South Columbus. With a road win at Salisbury in the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs, Ches helped the program earn its first postseason victory in five years.
County Heisman: Jerome Bass, Sr., LB, Red Springs — The Three Rivers Conference’s defensive player of the year was a terror for offensive players in his final prep season, logging a league-best 160 tackles on the season. Bass averaged 12.7 tackles per game, tallying 10 or more tackles in 10 of Red Springs’ 13 games. He finished the season with 19 tackles for loss, six sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception. He also scored 11 offensive touchdowns as a running back and tight end, logging two touchdowns in Red Springs’ 19-7 playoff win over Salisbury.
Offensive Player of the Year: Braylan Grice, Jr., QB, Lumberton — A young offensive line and a backfield that was plagued with injury resulted in Grice having a career year for Lumberton both as a passer and a rusher. Grice’s junior year produced 2,755 yards of total offense and 30 touchdowns that was second to Scotland’s Zamir White in the Sandhills Athletic Conference for most touchdowns. With 1,854 yards passing, 17 passing touchdowns, 901 yards rushing and 13 rushing scores, Grice set new career-highs in those areas this season.
Defensive Player of the Year: Brieghlan Swindell, Sr., LB, Lumberton — The heart and energy that Swindell played with carried his play to new heights in his senior year. He finished with 114 tackles and 15 tackles for loss on the year. The senior had four games with 10-plus tackles, including 21 tackles against South View and 20 tackles against Pinecrest. Against West Brunswick, Swindell recovered a fumble and hauled in an interception late for the Pirates in the first of their two wins.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Lee McLean, So., RB, Red Springs — McLean, who played sparingly in his rookie season and finished with just one touchdown, thrived in his new role as the feature back for the Red Devils. The sophomore rushed for 1,562 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 137.6 rushing yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry. Despite dealing with multiple nagging injuries throughout the season, McLean had eight games with 100 or more rushing yards, including a season-high 220 yards against St. Pauls.
Malik Arnette, Sr., RB/LB, Fairmont
Darrius Brown, Sr., RB/DB, South Robeson
Noah Wheeler, Sr., QB/RB, St. Pauls
Derrick Arnette, Sr., Fairmont
Luke Oxendine, Sr., Purnell Swett
Darius Wright, Sr., South Robeson
Jamearos McLeod, So., South Robeson
Caleb Inman, Sr., St. Pauls
Jordan Waters, Jr., Fairmont
Jayvon Morris, Jr., Fairmont
Kwashek Breeden, Jr., Lumberton
Chandler Brayboy, Jr., Purnell Swett
Nick Hunt, Sr., Fairmont
Javon Rogers, Sr., Lumberton
Trequan Gordon, Sr., Purnell Swett
Dante Floyd, Sr., Red Springs
Ricky Chavis, Sr., St. Pauls
Marquez Coleman, Sr., St. Pauls
Alex Hammonds, Jr., Lumberton
Edward Brock, Jr., Lumberton
Kalan Locklear, Sr., Purnell Swett
Erney Revels, Jr., Red Springs
Eric Lewis, Jr., South Robeson
Bryclyn McMillian, Sr., St. Pauls
Sidney McKeithan, Sr., Fairmont
Dylan Lowry, Jr., Purnell Swett
Hunter Brooks, Jr., Purnell Swett
Aaron Hunt, Jr., Red Springs
Keraun McCormick, Jr., St. Pauls
Malik Cooper, Sr., Lumberton
Blake Lowry, Sr., Purnell Swett
Nichorie West, Sr., Red Springs
Bobby McRae, Sr., Red Springs
Chris Canuto, So., St. Pauls