Following a senior season that saw him rush for 1,439 yards, surpassing 4,000 career yards in the process, rewards and recognition began to roll in this week for Arab running back Mathew Turnage.
Turnage, who finished with 4,016 career rushing yards, was named Tuesday the Offensive Co-MVP for the 2020 All-Marshall County Football Team.
Turnage was one of six Knights to make the team. Seven others made the honorable mention list.
“There is no award that can express the importance of Mathew Turnage to our football team,” said Arab coach Lee Ozmint. “All our seniors began the process of leadership. I am proud I was given the opportunity to coach them. Each young man’s involvement in our athletic program will make him a better man, husband and father.”
Brindlee Mountain senior running back/defensive back Christian Adams also made the team. Two of his teammates – junior tight end Caleb Scott and sophomore wide receiver Devin Lewis – made honorable mention.
Later on Tuesday, it was learned that Turnage also made the 6A, Region 7 first team offense. Teammates John Wesson Johnson and Christian Eaton made the All-Region first team on defense.
Eaton made both All-County and All-Region as a linebacker.
Turnage shared county Offensive MVP honors with Boaz senior running back Kadin Bennefield. Overall MVP is Guntersville senior wide receiver Jack Harris.
Defensive MVP is Guntersville senior inside linebacker Jerrell Williamson. Coach of the Year is Guntersville’s Lance Reese.
In addition to Turnage, Johnson and Eaton, three other Knights made All-County: safety Hayden O’Reilly, linebacker Mitchell Duquette and defensive lineman Cody Morgan.
Good news for Arab fans is, of the six, three will be back next season. Johnson, a wide receiver/defensive back, is a junior. O’Reilly is a sophomore and Duquette is a junior.
Six of the seven on the honorable mention list also will be back. Senior running back/wide receiver Alex Alcala will graduate but returning will be defensive lineman Caleb Roe, offensive linemen Jebb Bryan and Jaden Clark, defensive back John Ray Wilks, wide receiver Spencer Strickland and kicker Gavin Currier.
Currier, Roe, Bryan and Clark are juniors. Wilks and Strickland are sophomores.
“I can’t wait to see these underclassmen on the field next year as upperclassmen and our seniors perform in life with the same passion and drive they showed us on the field,” Ozmint said.
County champion Guntersville had 11 players make All-County and another six named honorable mention. Boaz sent six to the All-County team and four to the honorable mention list.
Albertville had three to make All-County and four to make honorable mention. Asbury had two All-County players and four honorable mentions.
DAR had five make All-County and six make honorable mention. Douglas had four to make All-County and five to make honorable mention.
Here is a complete list of Arab players named to the All-Region 7 Team:
First Team Offense
Mathew Turnage, RB
Second Team Offense
Spencer Strickland, WR
Jebb Bryan, OL
JB Bowman, TE
Jayden Clark, OL
First Team Defense
John Wesson Johnson, CB
Christian Eaton, LB
Second Team Defense
Hayden Oreilly, S
Mitchell Duquette, LB
Cody Morgan, DL
Gavin Currier, K