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9 make all-state teams

The accolades come after a banner year in which six county teams made the playoffs.

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2003


The only thing better would be a state championship.

But for a record nine Pasco County players, being named to the all-state team will have to do after a season that saw six county teams make the playoffs.

The all-state team is compiled by recommendations from sportswriters across the state. Two of the county's finest players received the highest honor possible: Land O'Lakes wide receiver Logan Payne and Ridgewood defensive end Adamm Oliver were named to the Class 4A first team.

Payne helped lead Land O'Lakes to a school-best 12-1 record. He also led Florida with 72 receptions and 21 touchdowns and set another school record with 1,251 receiving yards as the Gators reached the region final for the first time.

Oliver was the county's iron man. The Georgia Tech recruit rushed for 1,201 yards and 15 touchdowns. But he made all-state on defense, where at end he led the county with 109 tackles and 42 assists and had 6.5 sacks, 5 blocked punts, 6 forced fumbles and 4 recoveries.

On the second team are Land O'Lakes quarterback Drew Weatherford, Wesley Chapel fullback Tyrone Tomlin and Pasco defensive end Kirk Moats.

Punta Gorda Charlotte quarterback Justin Midgett, a 6-foot-4 Florida recruit, nabbed first-team QB honors and Jefferson quarterback Andre Caldwell was named the first-team utility player. That crowded field left Weatherford as the 4A second-team quarterback, despite completing 162 of 249 passes for a school- and county-record 2,645 yards and a state-leading 39 touchdown passes.

Tomlin bounced back from a torn ACL to lead the county with 1,542 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He was named to the 3A second team and leaves as Wesley Chapel's all-time leading rusher with 3,507 rushing yards, 1,134 receiving yards and 70 touchdowns.

Also on the 3A team is Moats, who led the county with 18 sacks and had 47 tackles and 42 assists.

Pasco quarterback Ben Alford, the three-year starter who rewrote all the Pirates' passing records made the 3A third team. He completed 88 of 197 passes for 1,926 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He led Pasco back to the playoffs while setting career records of 3,225 passing yards and 50 touchdowns.

No one embodies Zephyrhills' success better than offensive lineman Shane Hand, named to the 3A third team. The two-way starter had 45 tackles and three sacks. But it was at center where he was at his best, leading the way for a balanced attack.

Wesley Chapel linebacker Chris Roberts finishes his four seasons as a defensive starter with a third-team 3A nod, and was second on the team with 85 tackles, 39 assists and also had 5 sacks and an interception.

Earning honorable mention in 3A is Pasco wideout Johnny Peyton, who caught 24 passes for 631 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 26.3 yards per catch.

* * *

Pasco County is well-represented on the all-state teams:

First Team

CLASS 4A

WR: Logan Payne, 6-1, 180, Land O'Lakes, Sr.

DL: Adamm Oliver, 6-4, 235, Ridgewood, Sr.

Second Team

CLASS 4A

QB: Drew Weatherford, 6-3, 195, Land O'Lakes, Jr.

CLASS 3A

RB: Tyrone Tomlin, 6-0, 210, Wesley Chapel, Sr.

DL: Kirk Moats, 6-2, 190, Pasco, Sr.

Third Team

CLASS 3A

QB: Ben Alford, 6-2, 180, Pasco, Sr.

OL: Shane Hand, 6-2, 300, Zephyrhills, Sr.

LB: Chris Roberts, 6-0, 175, Wesley Chapel, Sr.

Honorable Mention

CLASS 3A

WR: Johnny Peyton, 6-1, 175, Pasco, Jr.

-- Compiled by Jamal Thalji.

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