By Ed Greif
The Cumberland County High School Jet football team was honored Sunday afternoon at their annual banquet at the Cumberland County Community Complex.
Before the players received their letters and special awards, first-year head coach Ted McCaslin recognized several individuals who supported the team this season and his coaching staff, and then gave his state of the union address.
He thanked CCHS principal Janet Graham, assistant principal/athletic director Jon Hall, Dr. Mark Lee, Larry Dyer and the members of the Jet football club, among others, and recognized his coaches: Jared Carson, Matt Harris, Don Haston, Stuart Bowen, Blake Allen, Marty Davis and DeWayne McGhee.
"Altough we did not achieve the success we had all hoped, we believe the foundation for success has been poured and the outlook on the future is bright. I could stand here today and tell you why we were not successful, but I will always believe in the motto, 'no excuses.' What I would like to talk about is defning success," said McCaslin, whose team finished 0-10 and 0-4 in District 6AAA this past season.
"We are all in charge of our attitudes and we have the abiiltiy to choose how to approach each and every day on the athletic field or in life," he said. "Success comes in many shapes and sizes. All of us must be careful to recognize its many forms. Many programs judge success by wins and losses alone, and not by the limitless number of positives that occur each day."
He continuted, "Success is helping a young man develop character and integrity and giving him a chance to be successful in society. Success is teaching a young coach how to manage his family time with his work time to become a better leader in both aspects.
"Success is teaching a group of young men how powerful they can be if they believe and trust in a worthy cause. Success is teaching people how to respond to hardship and setbacks with a positive attitude. Success is having a player call you long after he's graduated to thank you for teaching him to take the high road in life or tell you he is getting married or having a baby. Success is helping someone choose a positive attitude towards life.
"Football is the greatest environment ever created, in my opinion, to develop and achieve success. I am fortunae to work at a high school that believes athletics is as much a part of the curriculum as math, science or English. Our administration believes athletes learn valuable life lessons from football and support our football program, just like every other student in our school.
"Success is developing character, working as a team, making committments, maintaining a positive attitude, showing a strong work ethic, integrity and responsibility and being a quality role model."
"These qualities are invaluable in the development of young men and in a football program. When every members of our team develops these at a high level, we will have a great chance to be successful.
"In closing, developing and maintaining a football program requires charting the best possible route with a clear destination (goals) in mind, then constantly striving to find the best way to achieve them. We believe we have laid the foundation to make this journey happen. Focus on and enjoy the journey with us."
After McCaslin finished his "state of the union" messege, letters were presented to the team by class.
Harris recognized freshmen Alec Moore, Alex Dixon, Alex Pribanich, Ben Church, Caleb Jones, Cody Davis, Cody Hargis, Cody Threet, Cole Parton, Dalton Davis, Dalton Parsons, Daniel Richards, David Kutchey, David Scavo, Joseph Brown, K.C. Trosclair, Kobe Cox, Nathan Blaylock, Nolan McClain, Orlando Trejo, P.J. Marquez, Ronnie Brewer, Seth Hardman, Seth Randall, Ty Tabor, Jake Hanson and Gene Cravens.
McGhee introduced the sophomores — Chase Underwood, Cody Barnes, Ethan Cunningham, Gentry Brown, Heath Swallows, James Vallecillo, Jordan Buckner, Justin McElroy, Kenny Brewer, Matthew Vaughn, Micah Wanamaker and Tyler Weaver.
Juniors A.J. Dick, Caleb Charles, Chace Marshall, Colton Dykes, Dillon Reineking, Dorian Holt, Dustin Boles, Dusty Lewis, Dylan Oakes, Eric Telles, Marshall Nye, Michael Davis, Paul Hill, Reed Shaw, Trey McCloud, Tyler Hoskins, Tyler Norris, Zach Smith and Zakk King were introduced by Allen.
Seniors Roger Gentry, Lancianese, Tyler Rollins, Jarrod Lee, J Barnes, Kaleb Goss and T.C. Crillo were recognized by McCaslin. Each received a shadow box with their game jersey enclosed.
Randall received the Rising Star award as freshman on the team.
Randall recorded 29 tackles (18 solos, 11 assists) and one sack.
Lee received two awards — the special teams award and the team MVP award, and was also first team All-District 6AAA. He had 50 tackles (37 solos, 13 assists) and five interceptions, including one for a touchdown and caught nine passes for 245 yards.
Norris received the Most Improved Award. He caught four passes for 19 yards and rushed for 139 yards on 30 carries with two TDs. He recorded 36 tackles (20 solos, 16 assists) with one forced fumble, two sacks and two tackles for minus yardage.
Buckner was the offensive MVP, completing 34 of 86 passes for 548 yards with three touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for 252 yards on 79 carries with two TDs. He recorded eight tackles (three solos, five assists) and broke up four passes.
Lancianese was the defensive MVP, recording 98 tackles (54 solos, 44 assists), four tackles for minus yardage and one pass breakout. He also rushed for 171 yards on 45 carries with one TD, caught four passes for 42 yards and earned first team All-District 6AAA.
Jet Award winners were Thomas Crillo and Roger Gentry.
"Thomas didn't see the field a whole lot. He practiced with a torn ACL and even ran with pain," said McCaslin. "Roger gave 110 percent every day."
Gentry was honorable mention All-District 6AAA and recorded 36 tackles (21 solos, 15 assists) and one fumble recovery.
Rollins was All-District 6AAA for his academics, as he posted a 4.5 GPA.
Managers and trainers Samantha Nielson, Olivia Nye, Shayla Reagan and Shada Adkins.