With winning records and runs to the second round of the playoffs, McMinn County and Meigs County dominated The Daily Post-Athenian 2021 All-Area Football Team.

The Cherokees placed eight players on the 20-member team: Jayden Miller, Jaryd Gable, Spencer Sullins, Caden Hester, Landon Feggins, Aiden Wilson, Luke Hensley and Cody Thompson.

McMinn shook off a 1-3 start to the season to finish with an 8-4 record, running off a seven-game winning streak before its postseason ended with a second-round playoff loss at eventual Class 5A state semifinalist Powell. The Cherokees rebounded to finish as the runners-up in Region 4-5A despite losing nine offensive starters from last year’s state-ranked Class 6A team, then won a first-round playoff game for the second straight season.

The Tigers also landed eight representatives on this year’s All-Area Team: Cameron Huckabey, Ben Smith, Logan Carroll, Luke Pendergrass, Austin Andrews, Dalton Purgason, Bryson Falls and Jackson Shaver.

Meigs was ranked No. 1 in Class 2A for most of the regular season in the Associated Press state polls. The Tigers won the Region 3-2A championship with an undefeated regular season, but their postseason run ended sooner than they had planned in the second round of the playoffs with a loss to recent nemesis Trousdale County. Meigs finished with a 10-1 record.

McMinn Central placed four players on the All-Area Team after a 2-8 record, which included shutout losses to McMinn and Meigs.

The Chargers defeated nearby rival Polk County and Region 3-3A opponent Brainerd and were still in the Class 3A playoff hunt until a five-point season-ending loss to Sweetwater.

The four Chargers named to this year’s All-Area Team are Darius Carden, Novice Cox, Landon Watkins and Blake Elrod.

The All-Area Team was selected by DPA sports writers Gabriel Garcia and Scott Power, with suggestions from the three schools’ football coaches.

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