JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Over the course of the 2022 high school football season, 12 players earned WJHL Player of the Week distinction. On Monday night, ten of those young men gathered together in downtown Johnson City to celebrate their accomplishments.
However, only three could walk away with trophies.
Science Hill senior Tyler Moon claimed the 2022 WJHL High School Football Player of the Year honor following an outstanding campaign.
“My heart dropped, you know, 5-9, 160 [pounds] and my name came up – I was just so happy,” he said. “All those people up there, they’re just great ball players. They can all do the same thing I can do – they’re really good, really talented.”
The Region 1-6A Player of the Year rushed for 1,301 yards, wracked up 468 receiving yards and tacked on 678 yards in kickoff returns. He totaled 2,461 all-purpose yards this fall and scored a school-record 31 touchdowns.
“He’s a great young man and just the expectations, you know, coming into the season, nobody would have thought – everything he accomplished,” Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter said. “A great family, great student and just a great player.”
“It was amazing the things he did for us – used him at receiver, used him at quarterback, used him at running back,” Carter continued. “He really has a great IQ and knew how to do all the stuff and could accomplish a lot of things for us.”
Even after the recognition, Moon was quick to dish out praise for those who helped pave the way.
“Very proud of my offensive line because I wouldn’t have been able to get here without them pushing, making blocks and all that – big shoutout to them, big shoutout to God – big shoutout to all of my coaches for pushing me to be the best version of myself – everybody – just thank you,” he said.
Cloudland senior running back, Gage McKinney, earned the People’s Choice Player of the Year award with 1,333 votes in a tightly-contested fan vote.
“It was great – my heart was beating out of my chest – I was like ‘I hope I win something’ – I’m so blessed – thank you all so much,” he said.
The do-it-all running back produced more than 2,500 rushing yards this season, becoming just the 19th player in the history of Tennessee high school football to do so.
This year, the inaugural Special Achievement Award was given to Daniel Boone’s kicker and punter, Ben Shrewsbury.
The senior was a Mr. Football finalist in Class 5A in the state of Tennessee, finishing a perfect 39-of-39 on extra points in the regular season, while averaging 47 yards per punt.
Shrewsbury hit a new gear in the postseason, breaking the TSSAA playoff record with a 54-yard field goal in a win over Knox Halls. He then broke his own record the very next week with a 55-yarder against Knox Central.
“Me and our snapper Henry Hamblen put in a lot of work off and on the field over the summer and stuff – you can see the improvements that we made.”