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

January 24, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

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