By Jonathan Deal
Tanner senior Baltazar “Tito” Rubio is the 2A Lineman of the Year, it was announced Wednesday afternoon at the “Mr. Football” banquet at the Alabama Activities Center in Montgomery.
The annual banquet awards the state’s top offensive or defensive lineman and running back or quarterback in each classification.
Rubio beat out Fultondale’s Kadarrius Lawrence and Fyffe’s Trent Thrash for the prestigious award. It was the latest honor for Rubio after winning back-to-back state titles and being selected to the All-State team last month.
Rubio is a two-time All-County selection and was selected as the county’s Defensive Player of the Year by The News Courier earlier this month.
The versatile senior, who also started at offensive tackle, was a mainstay along the Rattlers’ defensive line during the past three years. He disrupted opponents’ blocking schemes, allowing the other Tanner linebackers to make plays.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior finished with 68 tackles, seven sacks and a county-best 26 tackles for a loss.
The ASWA selected three finalists in each category in each of the six classes in the Alabama High School Athletic Association and one from the Alabama Independent Schools Association.
Oxford’s Racean “Roc” Thomas was named Mr. Football. The three-time first-team all-state performer ran for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior despite battling injuries. A five-star prospect rated one of the nation’s top high school running backs, Thomas rushed for 6,169 yards and 82 touchdowns in his career.
Here is a full list of Wednesday’s winners:
Mr. Football: Racean “Roc” Thomas, Oxford
AISA back: Monroe Academy’s Jake McKenzie
AISA lineman: Restoration’s Cortney Wilbanks
1A back: Pickens County’s Jermarcus Brown
1A lineman: R.A. Hubbard’s Eddquerrion Harris
2A back: Mobile Christian’s Tyler Rogers
2A lineman: Tanner’s Baltazar Rubio
3A back: Dale County’s Jamarius Henderson
3A lineman: Leeds’ Tyler Wright
4A back: Calera’s Ronnie Clark
4A lineman: Charles Henderson’s Richard McBryde
5A back: Pinson Valley’s Nick Gibson
5A lineman: Homewood’s Jordan Sims
6A back: Oxford’s Racean Thomas
6A lineman: Auburn’s Rashaan Evans