Aldino Claims Tiger Football MVP Honor and Billings Named Most Valuable Cheerleader

Senior quarterback Axel Aldino was named Most Valuable Player of the 2020 DCHS Tiger Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held Saturday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center building. Meanwhile Talon Billings, a senior received the Most Valuable Player Football Cheerleader Award.

The trophies were presented to Aldino and Billings respectively by Tiger Football Coach Steve Trapp and Cheer Coach Amanda Fuller.

“In his four year 40 game career as quarterback, MVP Axel threw for 61 touchdowns and had 5,848 passing yards. He completed 369 passes out of 639 attempts with 22 interceptions and 43 sacks. Aldino had 472 carries running the ball for 2,024 yards and 24 touchdowns. A job well done,” said Coach Trapp.

Aldino’s high school career awards and honors include the following:

2020: Region 3-4A MVP and 1st Team All Region
2020: Tennessee Football Coaches Association All State
2020: DTC Player of the Year
2020: Mr. Football Semi-Finalist
2020: Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Combine Invitee
2020: Tennessee Football Coaches Association Division 1 Class 4A All State Team
2020: Preseason Academic All American
2020: Preseason All State (Murphy Fair)
2020: 615 Preps All Area Offense 1st Team
2020: 615 Preps Player of the Week
University of Central Missouri Football Commit
Team voted Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019
Region 3-4A Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and 1st Team All Region
Region 3-4A Most Outstanding Quarterback in 2018 and 1st Team All Region
2020-21 Quarterback for Team Tennessee 7 on 7

Meanwhile senior Jasper Kleparek received the Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award presented by members of Edwards’ family, Abram Edwards and Sarah Rathbone, son and daughter, and their mother Tena Edwards-Jacobs. Kleparek also received the Special Teams Player of the Year and the All-Region Most Outstanding Kicker honor. Prior to the 2020 season, Kleparek had never played high school football but he quickly excelled after joining the team in the second game of the year and he never missed an extra point or field goal kick in eleven games.

In presenting the MVC Award, Cheer Coach Amanda Fuller talked about Billings’ determination and the example she set for her fellow cheerleaders.

“She has been cheering for a very long time at school and in competitions. She cheered for basketball at middle school but thankfully changed to football cheering in high school. I remember the excitement of the girls on the team when they found out she was trying out for football cheerleading. I didn’t really know how good she was at that time but I soon found out. From the first day she has been one of the easiest people to work with and for others to get along with. She is always smiling and respectful to others. When it comes to stunts she is always willing to try whatever we ask her to do. Her experience and talent have given her the ability to be successful in most of the things we have asked her to do. She has been an example to her team on how to work hard and persevere and not worry about the little things. We will certainly miss seeing her in the air and cheering on the sidelines,” said Coach Fuller.

The season ended for the Tigers in the second round of the state playoffs in November at 7-5 although one of the losses was not on the field but a COVID-19 forfeit to Cumberland County. The 2020 Tigers made history by being the first DCHS football team to win a regular season region championship and the first to host back to back state playoff football games in Smithville.

Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:
Offensive Player of the Year- Desmond Nokes
Offensive Lineman- Caven Ponder
Offensive Back- Colby Barnes
Receiver- Trevonte (T.J.) Alexander
Defensive Player of the Year- Isaiah Harrington
Defensive Lineman- Evan Jones
Linebacker- Aidan Curtis
Defensive Back- Isaac Knowles
Special Teams Player- Jasper Kleparek
Most Improved-Silas Cross
MVP- Axel Aldino
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award-Jasper Kleparek
Scout Team Player of the Year: Ari White
Newcomer of the Year: Wil Farris

Seventeen players and four coaches on the 2020 DCHS football team earned All-Region honors in Region 3-4A.

Tiger Coach Steve Trapp was the Region’s Coach of the Year while members of his staff earned the following region honors:
Offensive Assistant Coach Michael Shaw, Defensive Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle, and Special Teams Coach Corey Rathbone.

Tiger players with Region honors are as follows:
Most Valuable Player: Axel Aldino
Defensive MVP: Isaiah Harrington
Offensive MVP: Desmond Nokes
Most Outstanding Defensive Back: Isaac Knowles
Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Caven Ponder
Most Outstanding Wide Receiver: Trevonte (TJ) Alexander
Most Outstanding Kicker: Jasper Kleparek
All Region 1st Team: Evan Jones, Peyton Leaf, Diego Coronado, Bryan Portillo, Ean Jones, and Aiden Curtis
All Region 2nd Team: Colby Barnes, Josh May, Antwon McCoy, and Wil Ferris.

Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:
Most Valuable Cheerleader- Talon Billings
Most Spirited- Sadie West
Best Dancer- Keirstine Robinson
Best Cheer-Presley Agee
Best Stunts-Hannah Trapp
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility-Presley Agee
Best Jumps-Addison Puckett

DeKalb County Falls Short Against York Institute

The DCHS basketball teams failed to even the score with York Institute Friday night as the Dragons and Dragonettes came to town and completed a season sweep of the Tigers and Lady Tigers.

The Dragonettes handed the Lady Tigers a 58 to 47 defeat while the Dragons beat the Tigers 62 to 56.

In the last meeting on January 2 at Jamestown, the Lady Tigers lost 51 to 45 while the Tigers were defeated 66 to 52.

The girls game was tied at 11 after the 1st period but the Lady Tigers were down 26 to 20 by halftime and trailed 43 to 34 after the 3rd period before falling 58 to 47.

Ella VanVranken scored 16 followed by Kadee Ferrell 11, Megan Cantrell 10, Madison Martin 4, Natalie Snipes 3, Summer Crook 2 and Cadee Griffith with 1.

For the boys, the Tigers got behind 13 to 9 by the end of the 1st period and trailed 28 to 25 at halftime, and 48 to 39 after the 3rd period before losing 62 to 56.

Evan Jones scored 13., Brayden Antoniak 12, Elishah Ramos 9, Luke Jenkins and Jordan Young each with 8, and Stetson Agee 6.

The Tigers are 7-8 (3-5) and the Lady Tigers sport a record of 7-9 (2-6). The Dragons are 11-7 (6-0) and the Dragonettes own a record of 15-3 (6-1).

DeKalb County will host Livingston Academy Tuesday night, January 26 starting with the girls game at 6 p.m. followed by the boys contest. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Lady Tiger Kadee Ferrell Joins 1,000 Point Club

Another outstanding DCHS Lady Tiger basketball player has become a member of the 1,000 point club.

Needing only 14 points to reach the milestone entering the game at Cannon County Friday night, Junior Kadee Ferrell pumped in 27 for the game, which was half the points scored by the Lady Tigers in their 54-43 victory over the Lionettes.

DC led 18 to 10 after the 1st period, 25 to 13 at halftime, and 39 to 26 after the 3rd period before going on to claim the 54 to 43 win.

Following Ferrell in scoring was Ella VanVranken with 11 points, Megan Cantrell 9. Cadee Griffith 4. Madison Martin with 2, and Hannah Willingham 1.

The Tigers got close but couldn’t get past the Lions losing 55 to 51.

DC trailed 14 to 11 after the 1st period, 23 to 20 at halftime, and 53 to 32 after the 3rd period before losing 55 to 51.

Evan Jones scored 14, Jordan Young 12, Elishah Ramos 10, Brayden Antoniak and Stetson Agee each with 6, and Luke Jenkins 3.

The Tigers are 3-6 (1-3) and the Lady Tigers are 4-6 (1-3). The Lions are 7-6 (2-2) and the Lionettes are 3-9 (0-4).

DeKalb County travels to Sequatchie County Saturday, January 9. The girls game tips off at 3 p.m. followed by the boys game.

DCHS Basketball, Baseball, and Girls Softball to move up a Class in 2021-22

The DeKalb County High School basketball schedule will have a different look starting with the 2021-22 season.

Currently, DeKalb County is part of District 8 AA, Region 4. A year from now, DeKalb County will be part of District 7 Class 3A, Region 4. The change was not sought by the school but due to recent TSSAA Reclassification.

DCHS baseball and girls softball will also be moving from District 8AA to District 7AAA in 2021-22.

District 8AA is currently comprised of DeKalb County, Macon County, Upperman, York Institute, Watertown, Livingston Academy, Smith County, and Cannon County.

In addition to DeKalb County, the new seven team Class 3A District 7 will be made up of Livingston Academy, Macon County, and Upperman along with newcomers Cumberland County, Stone Memorial, and White County.

Longtime district rivals York Institute, Watertown, Smith County, and Cannon County will remain in Class 2A. York will become part of District 5AA with Bledsoe County, Jackson County, Monterey, and Sequatchie County.

Cannon County, Smith County, and Watertown will join Westmoreland in District 6AA

DeKalb County Lady Tiger Basketball Coach Danny Fish said while the new district will be more challenging for his program, it provides an opportunity.

“Just when you thought District 8AA couldn’t get any harder, it will. We will be losing teams we have traditionally been rivals with for a long time. Watertown, Smith County, York Institute, and Cannon County will be moving out of our district. Stone Memorial, White County, and Cumberland County will be moving in with us (DeKalb), Macon County, Livingston Academy, and Upperman. That will be real tough. We thought it was a gauntlet before but it’s going to get harder in the upcoming seasons but we have played those teams in the past. In the last couple of years we have been able to split with White County and they were the District 6AAA champions last year. When we get in that district I believe we can rise to the occasion. Maybe our kids will train a little bit harder and longer and more throughout the year to make us more competitive in that district. I hope we can continue our process of staying in the top (district). We have worked really hard over the past couple of years to get where we are at and I think we will continue to work harder in the future to stay where we need to be once again. If we can make it out of that district into the region we will have a chance to win it all because will be playing by far in one of the toughest AAA districts in the state,” said Coach Fish.

“its going to be a lot different. The new teams coming into the district, White County, Cumberland County, and Stone Memorial have historically been really good in basketball so an already tough district for us will get tougher for sure. That will be starting next year (2021-22) and for the next four years. It will be challenging but we will be ready to compete,” said DCHS Tiger Basketball Coach John Sanders.

Pioneers Sweep Tigers. Ladies Split Season Wins

The DCHS basketball teams were hoping to get their first victories of the new year Tuesday night but the ball didn’t bounce their way as they lost to visiting Warren County in Smithville.

The Lady Tigers, who had defeated Warren County 52 to 47 at McMinnville in November, were not as fortunate this time losing to the Lady Pioneers 50 to 40 and the Tigers, who had fallen to the Pioneers in the last meeting 60 to 27, couldn’t even the score and lost this time 61 to 40.

For the girls, DC trailed 12 to 7 after the 1st period, 28 to 13 at halftime, and 36 to 28 after the 3rd period before losing 50 to 40.

Ella VanVranken scored 18 followed by Kadee Ferrell with 15, Megan Cantrell 4, Madison Martin 2, and Cadee Griffith with 1.

In the boys game, the Tigers were down 20 to 9 after the 1st period, 36 to 18 at halftime, and 54 to 30 after the 3rd period and lost 61 to 40.

Evan Jones scored 8, Robert Wheeler, Jordan Young, and Elishah Ramos each with 6, Luke Jenkins 5, Zack Birmingham 3, and Aidan Curtis, Conner Close, and Jacob Hendrix each with 2 points.

DeKalb County travels to Cannon County Friday night. WJLE plans LIVE coverage starting with the girls game at 6 p.m. followed by the boys contest.

The Tigers are 3-5 (1-2) and the Lady Tigers are 3-6 (0-3)

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