Players, coaches are honored by S.C. Football Coaches Association

By Thomas Grant Jr.

The winning seasons of both Class 5A runner-up White Knoll and Class 4A Lower State runner-up Irmo were rewarded by the South Carolina Football Coaches Association.

Both head coaches Nick Pelham of the Timberwolves and Aaron Brand of the Yellow Jackets were named Lower State Coaches of the Year in their respective classifications.

Pelham and assistant coach Neal Smith were recognized in Class 5A after leading White Knoll to a school record 14 wins, the Region 4-5A title and the school’s first-ever state title appearance.

Brand was named Coach of the Year in Class 4A after leading Irmo to a 13-1 record, the Region 5-4A title and its best season in 13 years.

Both head coaches also saw their team leaders win Lower State Player of the Year at their respective positions. White Knoll linebacker Jaiden Kimble was named the top Defensive player in Class 5A, and Quarterback A.J. Brand was named the top Offensive Player in Class 4A.

A Shrine Bowl selection, Kimble had 112 tackles, six sacks and nine pass breakups. Brand threw for 2,932 yards, 45 touchdowns and only two interceptions and rushed for 1,113 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Gray Collegiate lineman J.T. Sowell was named the top lineman in Class 2A Upper State. The War Eagles finished with a 14-1 record and were state runner-up.

Airport senior Dylan Barbrey was named Class 4A Lower State Lineman of the Year. The Appalachian State commit helped the Eagles to the post-season for the first time in three seasons. 

The SCFCA will release its All-State team on Dec. 13.

Photo by – Irmo quarterback Aaron Brand