The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 23, 2013

Tanner trio makes All-State team

By Jonathan Deal
jonathan@athensnews-courier.com

ATHENS —

Three members of Tanner’s two-time state championship football team were honored with First Team All-State selections while another made the honorable mention list.

Seniors Hayden Stephens, Seth Smith and Baltazar “Tito” Rubio were First Team selections on the 2A All-State team. Quarterback JonJon Fletcher was an honorable mention selection.

Stephens finished his senior season with 276 carries for 2,142 yards and 28 touchdowns, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Stephens also had 10 kick returns for a 33.4-yard average and one touchdown. Playing sparingly as a defensive back, Stephens had 16 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown.

The ASWA recognized Seth Smith as one of the best offensive lineman in Class 2A. The senior is a three-year starter at offensive tackle and started both ways this season on the line. As a defensive tackle, Smith recorded 49 tackles. He leaves Tanner with a 41-2 record as a starter over the past three years.

Rubio is a four-year starter that finishes his career as with two state championships starting both ways for the Rattlers. Along with playing offensive tackle, Rubio has been a mainstay along Tanner’s defensive line over the past three years.

Rubio disrupted opponents’ blocking schemes, allowing the Rattlers’ linebackers to make plays. The 6-1, 220-pound senior finished with 68 tackles this season including a season-high 7 tackles in come-from-behind victories against North Sand Mountain and Montgomery Academy.

Tanner quarterback JonJon Fletcher received honorable mention honors in his second year as Tanner’s starting quarterback. Fletcher completed 61 of 101 pass attempts for 1,116 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Fletcher carried the ball 115 times for 603 yards and 12 touchdowns.