By Marty Gordon
For the second straight year, Christiansburg and Radford high schools made it to the regional playoffs. Christiansburg even made it to the state semifinals before losing to Heritage, and as expected, the two teams dominated this year’s all-county, all-city football as announced by this newspaper.
Christiansburg head coach Alex Wilkens was named the 2022 all-county, all-city coach of the year for his team’s outstanding season with a 10-4 record. The Blue Demons outscored their opponents 377-to-192 this year.
Christiansburg “swiss army knife” Tanner Evans earned offensive player of the year honors. He started eight games at quarterback and another five at tailback. His teammate, Curtis Altizer, was named defensive player of the year after he finished the season with 130 tackles.
Evans is a junior, while Altizer is a senior. Evans was recognized as first-team running back along with Altizer, who also played linebacker and handled punting honors. Evans was also named to the all-county, all-city team at defensive back.
Evans rushed 193 times for 1,467 yards with 12 touchdowns while completing 38 of 73 passes for 696 yards and 13 touchdowns. Altizer rushed for 623 yards on 86 attempts with four scores and averaged 7.2 yards per carry.
Radford junior quarterback Landon Clark was named the 2022 all-county, all-city overall player of the year and was the first-team signal caller. Clark was also named on the defensive side of the ball as an all-county, all-city defensive back. He finished the season with 467 yards on 113 carries with eight touchdowns and threw for 2,972 yards on 166 of 241 passes with a mind-blowing 44 touchdown passes.
Christiansburg linebacker J.T. Thompson was named the newcomer of the year, and Radford’s Andrew Moore and Christiansburg’s Ayden Conley shared linemen of the year honors.
Other all-county, all-city honors were given on offense as follows: offensive linemen: Carter Stallard (Christiansburg) and Brayden Demasi (Blacksburg); wide receivers: Marcell Baylor and Parker Prioleau (Radford), and Jayron Thompson (Christiansburg). Baylor had 66 catches for 972 yards, while Prioleau hauled in 62 passes for 1,011 yards; running backs: Xavier Brown (Eastern Montgomery) and David Woodward (Radford). Woodward rushed 99 times for 452 yards. kicker: Spencer Conner (Christiansburg); offensive specialist: Spencer Campbell (Blacksburg); punt returner: Parker Prioleau (Radford); Kick returner:Jayron Thompson (Christiansburg).
Defensive unit honors go to linebackers: Charlie Davis (Radford) and Xavier Brown (Eastern Montgomery). Davis finished with 108 tackles including 52 solos to lead the Bobcats. Brown had 58 tackles with 46 solos and four tackles for loss. Altizer, another linebacking honoree, finished with 128 tackles, 86 solos, two interceptions, and 3.5 sacks.
Defensive backs: Luke Poff (Blacksburg and Gage Akers (Eastern Montgomery). Akers had 34 tackles. Clark, who was also a defensive honoree for Radford, had 40 tackles with five interceptions.
Defensive linemen: Brandon Thompson (Radford), Brandon Demasi (Blacksburg), Brandon Kingery (Eastern Montgomery), and Jaxon Poole and Robert McCrea (Christiansburg). Kingery had 11 tackles for loss this season with six blocked kicks. Thompson finished with 49 tackles from his down position.
McCrea was also named the defensive specialist for the all-county, all-city squad. He finished the year with 48 tackles and 4.5 sacks.