The Touchdown Club of Gwinnett announced its end-of-the-season awards and area athletes were honored for their accomplishments during the 2022 season. 

Buford High School’s Justice Haynes was named Running Back of the Year, and Buford took home a second individual award with K.J. Bolden named the Defensive Back of the Year. 

The Defensive Lineman of the Year award was presented to Kayden McDonald from North Gwinnett High School. 

Buford’s OL Paul Mubenga and North Gwinnett’s KR Kenan Holmes were selected for first-team offense. Making the first-team defense were DL Eddrick Houston from Buford and OLB Grant Godfrey from North Gwinnett.

Offensive linemen Ben Claypole from Lanier High School and Charles Thorpe from North Gwinnett were named second-team offense. Receiving second-team defense honors were DL Tyler Walton of North Gwinnett and Buford’s ILB Ryan McKinnis.

A player from each team is selected for the Kevin Maloof Award, which is presented to a player who puts his team above himself. Area athletes who won the Kevin Maloof Award were Aiden Jeter for Buford, Jordan England for Lanier and Maddox Brix for North Gwinnett.

A player from each team also receives the Cecil Morris Award. This award is presented to an all-county caliber player who had their season cut short by injury. Buford’s Bryson Banks, Lanier’s Tyrell Willis and North Gwinnett’s Ethan Washington were selected for this honor.

The Tally Johnson Award, which is the assistant coach of the year award, went to Buford’s Dwayne DuBose, Lanier’s Phillip Davis and North Gwinnett’s Cedric Dickerson.

Every team also has a student athlete who is honored for their academic achievements. Area winners were Eli McElwaney of Buford, Gibson Rieteg of Lanier and Harbin Tinney of North Gwinnett.

The Linda Jones Memorial Award/Sports Medicine South Scholarship was awarded to Christian Butler of Buford, Damarcus Ash of Lanier and Maddox Brix of North Gwinnett.

The following athletes were named All-County Honorable Mention:

  • Buford: Alijah Williams, Ian Chandler, Jack Damron and Dylan Wittke
  • Lanier: Ryan Jean, Chase Jameson, Kaden Beard and Rylan Haight
  • North Gwinnett: Will Collins, Marek Briley, Ryan Hall and Cole Funderburk

The awards will be presented to athletes during at a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Sugarloaf Campus of 12Stone Church in Duluth.

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