MURFEESBORO — He’s becoming an Elder statesman in terms of winning awards.
Corn Elder won his second straight TSSAA Mr. Football Division II-AA back award Monday afternoon. The Ensworth High senior tailback took home the trophy in the awards ceremony at Embassy Suites Hotel.
“Winning this award twice is unbelievable,” Elder said. “Winning just once is a great experience, amazing in itself. With our team being undefeated and playing well, it just makes it that much more special.”
Elder is the school’s second Mr. Football winner. Tailback Tavarres Jefferson won as a back in 2007.
Derek Barnett won the Division II-AA lineman award and became the fifth Brentwood Academy player to win a Mr. Football award. A junior, he has a chance to win two in his own right.
Elder got his second with another spectacular season. He has rushed for 2,228 yards and 33 touchdowns for Ensworth (12-0), which is ranked No. 12 in the USA Today Super 25 prep poll. He also has caught five passes for 87 yards and two more touchdowns.
Ensworth teammate Michael Sawyers, an offensive/defensive tackle, was a finalist as a Division II lineman. He had 25 tackles, nine for loss, and two sacks.
“It starts with the linemen up front and great teammates,” Elder added. “I’m just thankful for the talents God has given me.”
On Thursday night, he and his Ensworth teammates try for a third straight state title when they play Memphis University School (10-2) for the championship at Tennessee Tech.
Barnett, the giant 6-foot-4, 255-pound tight end/defensive end, had 26 tackles, 22 assists, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, one defensive touchdown and one touchdown reception.
“This is an unbelievable honor and I couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of my teammates,” Barnett said.
BA missed out on a spot in the Division II-AA championship game when it lost to MUS on a late field goal in the semifinals.
“That is going to make me, along with my teammates, work even harder in the off-season and come back next season better than ever,” Barnett said.
Added coach Cody White: “Derek would have traded his award for our team winning that game in a heartbeat. He is a very hard-working, humble young man and is very deserving of the Mr. Football award.
“The best thing is that he will be back next season, as one of our leaders.”
Brentwood High offensive/defensive tackle Logan Teichmann was a finalist for the lineman award in Division I Class AAA. He led the Bruins with 43 pancake blocks.
Jalen Hurd, the 3,000-yard rusher from nearby Beech High in Hendersonville won the back award in Class AAA. The Bucs play Columbia in the 5A finals game Friday night.
The Tennessee Titans were title sponsors of the award. Titans play-by-play announcer Mike Keith announced the winners.
Mr. Football winners:
DI, Class A lineman: Tyler Coen, Gordonsville
DI, Class A back: Will McKamey, Grace Christian
DI, Class AA lineman: Brett Kendrick, Christian Academy of Knoxville
DI, Class AA back: Charlie High, Christian Academy of Knoxville
DI, Class AAA lineman: Austin Sanders, Bradley Central
DI, Class AAA back: Jalen Hurd, Beech
DII-A lineman: Chase Hensley, University School of Jackson
DII-A back: Todd Kelly, Knoxville Webb
DII-AA lineman: Derek Barnett, Brentwood Academy
DII-AA back: Corn Elder, Ensworth
Kicker of the Year: Jonathan King, Farragut