Dora's Danner named Eagle Elite Player of the Year

Bulldogs put six players on First Team

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 12/26/17

Caleb Danner was one of the top running backs in Walker County as a junior last season.

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Dora's Danner named Eagle Elite Player of the Year

Bulldogs put six players on First Team

Posted

Caleb Danner was one of the top running backs in Walker County as a junior last season.

He closed out his high school career as one of the top running backs in the state.

Danner was one of seven running backs in the state to rush for more than 2,000 yards this season — reaching the milestone in the last game of the season against Saks.

Danner is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s 2017 Player of the Year.

“Caleb has a special God-given ability with the football in his hands,” said Dora coach Bart Lockhart, who coached Danner for the first time this season. “He works really hard. He’s quiet. He leads by example, not by his words. He runs the ball hard and just refuses to go down.”

Behind the running of Danner and a stellar offensive line, Dora enjoyed a resurgent season, going 9-3 after winning just four games in the previous two years combined. The Bulldogs averaged 32 points a game this season, up 11 points from 2016.

Danner started the season with a bang, going for 224 yards against Corner in the opener.

He didn’t let up the rest of the way.

Danner went for a season high 321 yards in the fourth game of the season, carried the ball a whopping 39 times in the first round of the playoffs against Deshler and had four 200-plus yard games.

Danner had a way of putting the team on his shoulders when the Bulldogs needed points.

Against Hamilton, Dora trailed 19-14 at the half. The Bulldogs erupted in the second half behind Danner, who had touchdown runs of 36 and 55 yards in the third quarter and rushed for 194 yards over the final two quarters. He finished the game with 321 yards. The following week, Danner made the most of his six carries against Winston County, rushing for 141 yards and four scores.

Danner had at least one touchdown in every game — rushing for a score in the first 11 games and hauling in a touchdown pass in a narrow 31-24 loss at Saks in the second round of the playoffs.

Danner finished the season with 2,004 yards and 22 touchdowns on 264 carries. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry and 167 yards per game. He also added 15 catches for 133 yards with a touchdown.

Danner had a total of five touchdowns against Dora’s biggest rivals — Corner, Cordova and Jasper. The Bulldogs won all three games.

He finished second in rushing yards in Class 4A to Hokes Bluff’s Darrian Meads, who joined Danner as a first-team selection on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State Team released over the weekend. Danner finished just 32 yards behind Meades despite having 35 fewer rushing attempts.

——————————————————————————————

EAGLE ELITE FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Quarterback

Jon Avery, Oakman

———

Running Backs

Caleb Danner, Dora

Tanner Talley, Sumiton Christian

Jordan Davis, Lynn

———

Receivers

Nick Moody, Oakman

Carson McGinnis, Carbon Hill

Trevor Stokes, Sumiton Christian

Logan Entrekin, Corner

———

Offensive Linemen

Noah Roberts, Dora

Hayden Ray, Addison

Bobby Talley, Lynn

Cole Sanders, Curry

———

Kicker

Jackson Spradlin, Dora

———

Athletes

John Mark Abercrombie, Meek

Zayne Guthrie, Addison

——————————

EAGLE ELITE FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

Linebackers

Alex Atkins, Carbon Hill

Logan Martin, Oakman

Jeremiah Hammond, Jasper

Blaine Neill, Dora

Chance Thompson, Dora

———

Defensive Linemen

Zack Myers, Curry

Kaleb Pedraza, Oakman

Preston Busby, Cordova

Jev Windham, Carbon Hill

———

Defensive Backs

C.J. Hall, Oakman

Kolbi Fuqua, Cordova

Jamaal Harris, Dora

Cameron Baldy, Lynn

———

Punter

Brandon Hill, Lynn

———

Athletes

Andrew Kelley, Winston County

Eli DeJesus, Jasper

———————————————————————————————

EAGLE ELITE SECOND TEAM OFFENSE

Quarterback

Chase Crane, Sumiton Christian

———

Running Backs

Brandon Scoles, Carbon Hill

Payton Luster, Curry

Tyler Borden, Addison

———

Receivers

Logan Wilkins, Addison

Austin Owens, Winston County

Cole Bonner, Jasper

———

Offensive Linemen

Luke McDonald, Sumiton Christian

Ta’Darrius Thomas, Oakman

———

Kicker

Cameron Gilbert, Lynn

———

Athlete

Ethan Moore, Winston County

——————————

EAGLE ELITE FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

Linebackers

Garrett Gable, Sumiton Christian

Malcolm Hogue, Oakman

Andrew Gaylor, Dora

Trent Shedd, Corner

———

Defensive Linemen

Grant Thornell, Sumiton Christian

Nelson Martin, Meek

Hayden Twilley, Meek

———

Defensive Backs

Demetrius Kirk, Cordova

Noah Jackson, Lynn

Stuart Waldrep, Meek

Wendall Ball, Curry

———

Athlete

Achilya Dixon, Dora