It was a bittersweet end, but an end nonetheless.
The Moore County High School football team officially closed the door on the 2012 season on Dec. 3 as teams from District 9-A met at the T.A.G. Camp here in Lynchburg to distribute its year-end awards.
When the night was finished, the Raiders held most of the hardware, with 14 players — along with the MCHS coaching staff — reaping the rewards of a stellar season.
Moore County finished 10-0 in the regular season before being upset by Eagleville in the second round of the TSSAA Class A playoffs.
“We really felt let down, especially with the way that we did lose … having the ball at the 1-yard line with 57 seconds remaining. It’s not the way we wanted it to end,” said Moore County head coach Scott Smith. “We lost 13 seniors who had been playing for a long time. We thought we would naturally take a dip down. For them to bond together … it truly was a team effort. We had some super players, but as a group, we just kind of clicked.”
Senior J.P. Evans was named the district’s Most Valuable Player. From his quarterback position, Evans ran for 1,164 yards, threw for 926 yards and accounted for 22 touchdowns on offense. He also had 71 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown from his linebacker spot.
Jack Evans was named the district’s Offensive Line MVP.
“He played both offensive guards for us. He was the best blocker on the team … too many pancakes to count,” added Smith. “We ran behind him all season.”
Matt Taggett took advantage of Moore County’s strong offensive line, as he was named the District 9-A Offensive Back MVP. Taggett ran for 931 yards and 13 touchdowns on 149 carries.
Named to the All-District team were Aidan Simpson, Dillon Davis, Dalton Barrier, Austin Bingham, Austin Henshaw, Joshua Prater and Chance Tharp. Earning honorable mention status for the Raiders were Colt Wells, Christian Glascoe, Antonio Arguelles and Zach Ray.
Smith was named the 9-A coach of the year and the MCHS assistant coaches — Jeremy Austin, Lavon King, Jason May and Doug Price — were named the staff of the year.
“A huge portion of this season was because of the hard work of our seniors and how they pulled together, and of course my coaching staff,” said Smith. “They all did one of the best jobs of leading that I have ever seen.
“To go out in the second round was a very sad point for us as a team and as a coaching staff. Probably the hardest thing was that it was such a mixture … 10-0 then 10-1. The season that we had was so much more beyond the expectations of what we ever thought of.”
By ROBERT HOLMAN, MCN Editor