Booker, Samuel, Noble named to all-state team

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Three local players were named 2016 Alabama Sports Writers Association All State football players in Class 3A and 4A.

T.R. Miller senior Jo Jo Booker was named to the Class 3A first team at defensive back. Booker led the Tiger defense with nine interceptions, including returning one for a touchdown. He had  36 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As well as defense, Booker was a force on offense, accumulating 800 receiving yards in 37 receptions for eight touchdowns. He also served as a punter and punt returner on special teams.

“JoJo (Booker) was our playmaker on both sides of the ball,” said TRM head coach Andrew Thomas. “He probably could have been first team on either side of the ball. He’s definitely well deserving of the recognition. I’m just proud of him and his efforts. He did a lot of good things for us.’

TRM junior Chris Noble earned honorable mention honors at offensive line. Noble was one of the anchors on the Tiger offensive line that helped the running game accumulate 2,572 yards on the ground, and in pass protection allow quarterback Caleb Winton to throw for 1,306 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air.

“The way we were able to run the ball with Demarquis (McMillan) there and then when Michael (Campbell) took over was quite impressive,” Thomas said. “The whole offensive line played well. Chris (Noble) graded high for us. This was his first year starting. It’s impressive the year he had in his first year starting and to get this type of recognition says a lot. He can build on this success going into next year because he’s going to have to be our leader upfront with a young team. I’m proud of him.”

W.S. Neal defensive lineman Ricky Samuel was named to the second team in Class 4A. The 6 foot 5, 250-pound sophomore led the Eagles on defense with seven sacks, 56 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and 12 hurries.

WSN head coach Doug Hoehn said Samuel had a good year is earning all-state is well deserved.

“Ricky (Samuel) got a lot of playing time for us as a freshman,” said WSN head coach Doug Hoehn.

“He improved a lot that year not just physically but mentally in understanding his responsibility and how he fits within the defense. That continued this past offseason going into his sophomore year. It’s not to often sophomores are nominated for all-state. He had a good year for us and he deserves it.”

Also named Class 3A All-State was Flomaton offensive lineman Ryan Gagliano. The senior was named to the second team. He started all four years in his high school career for the Hurricanes.