ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association released this year's all-state football teams in Class 1A, 2A and 3A on Tuesday. In all, 10 SEMO Conference players were selected.
In Class 3A, New Madrid County Central's Dereke Tipler is a first team running back.
The 5-foot-10 senior rushed for 2,115 yards, breaking school records for career touchdowns (62), touchdowns in a season (39) and rushing yards in a career (3,778).
"Dereke had a great year at running back," said NMCC coach Steve Rogers. "He's just a great, great athletic talent. And as good of an athlete as he is, he's just as good of a human being. It was an honor and a privilege just to be able to coach him this year."
NMCC defensive end Desmond Sims was also placed on the first team at defensive line. Sims was a versatile weapon on both sides of the ball for the Eagles, dominating as a running back, receiver, a return man and at defensive end.
In the regular season, the 6-foot-3 senior recorded 50 tackles with eight sacks.
"Desmond was great on both sides of the ball," said Rogers. "He's a phenomenal athlete, and I expect him to excel at the next level. I look forward to watching him on TV Saturdays, thinking that guy was with us a year or two ago."
After winning the SEMO Central Lineman of the Year award, NMCC's Chad Nolen caps off an outstanding high school career by making the first team offensive line. Nolen has started for the Eagles since he was a sophomore.
"Chad was the anchor on our offensive line," said Rogers. "He's a three-year starter at offensive and defensive tackle, and has done a great job for us. He's a fine young man, and I look forward to trying to get him in school somewhere."
At linebacker, NMCC's George Strickland was placed on the second team. Strickland played half the year at defensive back, but was switched to linebacker after the Eagles suffered a few key injuries.
He made an immediate impact at the position, and was a force wherever he played.
Along with the four all-staters, Rogers was also selected as 3A Coach of the Year. This year he guided NMCC to a 12-2 record and the 3A championship game.
"We had a great group of players and I had an excellent coaching staff," said Rogers. "Coach (Arlen) Pixley, Coach (Matt) Hartman, Coach (John) Jones, and (Jim) Coach White did a great job. This is a team and coaching staff honor, not just an individual honor for me."
The Eagles were ranked No. 2 in the final 3A state poll.
Also in 3A, Kennett's Dustin Pritchett is a first team receiver. This season the 6-foot-2 senior caught 60 passes for 904 yards, scoring 11 touchdowns.
In Class 2A, Charleston running back Jordy Mixon was placed on the first team. Mixon rushed for 1,386 yards this season, averaging 8.4 yards per carry with 16 TDs.
"Jordy is an extremely talented young man," said Charleston coach Brent Anderson. "He's a very physical kid, and he loves contact. He likes to hit it in between the tackles, but he's gifted in the open field also. He's extremely tough to bring down."
Charleston defensive back Dontay Clark made the first team, after recording 70 tackles and intercepting five passes this year. He also caused three fumbles and recovered two.
"Dontay is a speedy kid with super moves," said Anderson. "He's got great athletic ability. He's not real physical, but he's phenomenal in the open field. He's a great leader and has a great work ethic."
Charleston went 9-3 this year, reaching the 2A quarterfinals. They were ranked No. 7 in the final state poll.
"Obviously, I'm going to hate to lose them," said Anderson. "They are very, very gifted young men. I think both are going to be great finds for a college recruiter."
In Class 1A, Hayti offensive lineman Patrick Johnson made the first team. Johnson was a second-team all-stater last year and was named the SEMO South Lineman of the Year.
Hayti defensive lineman Charles Gaines was also placed on the first team. The 305-pound senior finished with 52 solo and 26 assisted tackles, recording seven sacks. He also beat out Johnson for this year's SEMO South Lineman of the Year award.
"I'm tickled to death to have those guys on the all-state team," said Hayti coach David Gilmore. "They are very deserving and they were leaders for us all year on the field. As freshmen, they were 0-10. But they kept working in the weight room, working on technique and getting better at football. This year we were 11-1, and it's a tribute to how hard they have worked."
Hayti sophomore William Moore was named a second team receiver, after shattering numerous school records this season. He caught 26 passes for 705 yards, scoring 13 TDs.
"I knew William had the numbers to get it, but I was kind of surprised because he's just a sophomore," said Gilmore. "He had a real good year, he was our go-to receiver. We're really expecting some good things out of him the next two years."
As a team, Hayti went 11-1 reaching the 1A quarterfinals.
They finish ranked No. 6 in the final 1A state poll.
Class 4A and 5A is scheduled to be released on Thursday.