Peyton Lewis is named Class 4 Offensive Player-of-the Year, Cole and Allen also on first team
The Virginia High School League announced the All-State Class 4 football team last week and Salem High School was well-represented. Salem’s Peyton Lewis was named the Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year and five other Spartans were named to either the all-state first or second teams. Lewis, a senior, earned first team honors at both running back and kick returner. The 6’1”, 197-pound running back rushed for 2,107 yards on 207 carries, a 10.2 yards per carry average, while scoring 30 rushing touchdowns.
The University of Tennessee signee added three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown, 144 yards on five kickoff returns and 172 on five punt returns and two touchdowns despite teams constanting kicking away from him. In the state semifinals at Tuscarora, Lewis carried Salem to the state title game, rushing for 373 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns in the 31-21 win.
In the state finals, Lewis ran for a game-high 84 yards and a touchdown. Lewis rushed for 3,667 career yards for a 10.3 yards per carry average, 47 rushing touchdowns, and 52 total touchdowns for the Spartans. Lewis is a fivetime VHSL Class 4 state champion in track & field, including back-to-back titles in the indoor 55-meter and outdoor 100-meter dashes as a sophomore and junior. Phoebus senior linebacker Anthony Reddick was named the Class 4 Defensive Player of the Year and Phoebus head coach Jeremy Blunt is the Class 4 Coach of the Year after the Phantoms edged Salem in the Class 4 state championship game, 21-14, at Liberty University on December 9.
Salem had two first team selections on the Class 4 all-state defense. University of Georgia bound linebacker Chris Cole and fellow linebacker Jaelyn Allen were both named to the first team. Both are seniors. Second team all-state selections from Salem include junior offensive lineman Jackson Bryie, Allen at tight end, senior Wilson Rakes on the defensive line and senior Chris Martin at defensive back. The all-state football team consists of 32 players. On offense there is one quarterback; four linemen; one center; three running backs; three receivers; one tight end; one kicker; one kick returner and one allpurpose offensive player. On defense there are four defensive linemen; five linebackers; four defensive backs; one punter; one punt returner and one allpurpose defensive player.
Only those players selected to the all-region first-team are eligible for selection to the all-state team. The all-state selection committee comprises eight coaches, with two from each region. Salem swept the top honors on the All-Region 4D team as Lewis was named Offensive Player of the Year, Allen is the Defensive Player of the Year and Salem coach Don Holter was named Region 4D Coach of the Year. First team offensive honors went to Lewis as running back and kick returner, Bryie on the offensive line and Allen at tight end. First team all-region on defense are Cole and Allen at linebacker, Rakes on the defensive line, Martin in the secondary and Lewis at punt return.
Second team all-region on offense are senior Ryan Coe at center, senior Jayveon Jones at running back and Rakes on the offensive line. Defensive second teamers are senior Josiah Moyer and junior Josiah Persinger at defensive back and sophomore Coen Logan at All-Purpose. Senior Wesley Cross was Honorable Mention at placekicker and on defense senior Quinton Dillard and junior Dontay Davis, both linemen, were deemed Honorable Mention.
On the All-River Ridge District team Lewis was Offensive Player of the Year, Allen was Defensive Player of the Year and Holter was named Coach of the Year. Spartans on the first team All-RRD offense are Lewis at running back and kick return, Coe at center, Bryie on the line, Allen at tight end, Jones as allpurpose back and Cross at kicker.
On defense all-district first teamers are Cole and Allen at linebacker, Rakes on the line, Martin and Moyer in the defensive backfield and Lewis at punt return. The second team offense includes Rakes and Dorian Vance on the line, Jones at running back and Khamari Garner at receiver. Second team All-RRD defenders are Davis, Dillard and senior Julian Warme on the line while Persinger and Logan were named in the secondary. The River Ridge District also named “Honorable Mention” and that goes to Moyer at receiver and Martin at punter.