December 10, 2008 Edition

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Bennett Dudley


Logan Gaither


Jared Blackwell


D.J. Wayne


William Wilcoxson


Derek Medlock


Tim Cummins


Preston Matthews

Cats named All-Conference

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Eight Walnut Ridge Bobcat football players have received postseason honors following the 2008 season. Five Bobcats were named to the 2A-2 All-Conference team, while three others earned honorable mention recognition.

Junior Bennett Dudley was named to the All-Conference team for the second consecutive year. Playing slotback on offense, he rushed 40 times for 416 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 37 passes for 652 yards and five touchdowns. From his safety position on defense, Dudley had one interception and one fumble recovery. On special teams, he returned two punts for touchdowns.

"Bennett totally understands the game and brings intensity to both sides of the ball. He's a playmaker," said Walnut Ridge head coach Larry Treadway.

Logan Gaither, junior receiver and safety, caught 38 passes for 601 yards and 10 touchdowns. He led the Bobcats in scoring, with 74 points. On defense, Gaither had 77 tackles from his safety position. He had three interceptions and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Gaither finished as runner-up for the state's Iron Man of the Year award, which honors the best two-way players in the state.

"Logan can take a short pass and turn it into a long touchdown play. He's extremely athletic in everything he does," said Treadway.

Senior quarterback Jared Blackwell completed 68-of-177 pass attempts for 1,202 yards. He also played in the defensive backfield for the Bobcats.

"We were never out of a game as long as Jared had his hands on the ball," added Treadway.

D.J. Wayne, a sophomore defensive lineman and linebacker, had 76 tackles. He recovered three fumbles, returning one for a touchdown.

"D.J. understands one speed and that's full throttle. His strength and speed are his biggest assets," said Treadway.

Senior William Wilcoxson had 134 tackles from his middle linebacker position, the third highest total in the state. He also recovered two fumbles. Wilcoxson played fullback on offense.

"I've never had a player make 134 solo tackles in my 36 years of coaching. He's 5'6", but he plays like he's 6'5". William is an overachiever with a heart that bleeds orange," said Treadway.

Earning honorable mention honors were Derek Medlock, junior receiver and defensive end; Tim Cummins, junior kicker; and Preston Matthews, sophomore running back and linebacker.

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