Four Putnam County football players were recently named to the Indiana Coaches Association Class 2A All-State Football teams.
Cloverdale's wide receiver Christian Cheatham and South Putnam offensive tackle Brandon McKee made the All-junior squad, while South Putnam tight end Matt Hicks and running back Drew Christy earned spots on the senior squad in their final seasons.
The trio of South Putnam players had outstanding season for the Eagles, leading them to the sectional championship against Tri-West.
Cheatham had a breakthrough campaign for the Clovers, gaining 759 yards receiving, averaging 69 yards per game and 22.3 yards per reception, while scoring eight touchdowns on the season.
"I think it shows the type of offensive player he was for our team," Cloverdale Coach Jamie Steffy said. "Every time that we stepped on the field this fall, he was one person other teams were trying to stop."
Cheatham also connected 7-of-10 passes for 124 yards and four touchdowns. This is something that Steffy might choose to exploit in the future.
"We are going to have more ways that we're going to get him the football next year, other than just throwing to him," Steffy said. "He's going to be a focal point for our offense."
Hicks was another big receiving threat in the county this season, gaining 733 yards receiving, averaging 61.1 yards per game and 22.2 yards per reception, while scoring seven touchdowns on the season. Like Cheatham, he was also a threat in more than one way, carrying the ball eight times for 46 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, while also leading the team in tackles, kicking and punting.
This honor comes after he was named to the Associate Press All-State for the second straight year.
"Since other coaches votes for this, that's one of the good part of it," South Putnam coach Mark Wildman said. "We can consider somebody good, but when coaches from other schools make that selection, that's what makes it such a good honor."
Christy also had a stellar senior season, leading the county in rushing with 1,241 yards on 205 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He was also the Eagles' second leading receiver with 310 yards on 26 catches and one touchdown. Christy amassed 20 touchdowns on the season, averaging 10 points per contest.
"I thought the only thing that would keep him from getting over 1,000 yards was play calling," Wildman said. "Any games that he had over 20 carries, he had over 100 yards."
The third Eagle to make an All-State team, McKee earned the honor from a less glorified position. Although left tackles don't always make headlines, there was little doubt, he was a key to South Putnam's offensive success.
"He's a very good football player," Wildman said. "He started on offensive line for us all year. We give blocking awards for 70 percent blocking or above. He got a blocking award every game."
Early in the season, McKee also helped on the other side of the ball, playing both sides of the line -- something Wildman doesn't like his offensive lineman to do.
"After our first two games, we weren't very happy with our defensive front," Wildman said. "So we started him on defense for about two or three games. He kind of raised the level."