The votes have been tallied. The winner has been declared. Congratulatory words can now be spoken to the Copiah County Football Player of the Year. . . Kelton Smith, the stellar senior from Copiah Academy.
Here’s how the voting went:
Out of 548 total votes, Smith tallied 54%, Cain 30% and Lyles 16%. Smith finished with 296, Cain earned 166 and Lyles received 86.
“Without at doubt, this was the most truly voted on topic we have had as our weekly poll since starting in early 2009,” said Courier publisher Joe B. Coates. “The response was even better than we imagined. We congratulate Kelton for this very deserved reward and also want to congratulate Demetrius Cain of Hazlehurst and Derrick Lyles of Wesson–both of whom are just as deserving. Each one of them had great seasons and made their teams better.”
Smith, a pre-season selection to the Copiah County Courier Super 7 in 2011–his second year to be chosen–had an electrifying campaign despite being injured midway through the season, which caused him to miss two games. In 9 games, Smith carried 184 times for 1,596 yards. His total all-purpose yardage of 2,596 yards puts him near the top in the Colonel record book. He scored 14 times rushing and returned 6 kickoffs for touchdowns.
Perhaps his most impressive game in 2011 came against the Silliman Wildcats at Homecoming. Smith rushed 20 times for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also scored on a 82 yard kickoff return to help the Colonels to an easy win over the Wildcats.
All voting was done via the Courier’s website and was kept secret until today. Readers and voters were also given the opportunity to post comments. And, many were very well thought out.
Below are a few of the 30 or so reader comments submitted about their favorite player at copiahmonitor.com:
Kelton All Day!
We vote for Kelton Smith. He reminds me of Walter Payton the way he strategizes on the football field. He is a progressive thinker.
Kelton – We wish you much success – are PROUD of YOU! Be the BEST. . .
Cain is the most impressive of the two. To play both sides of the ball and be the man on a team that has 3 good backs and a good D gets my vote…. good job to all the Copiah County teams….
I voted for Derrick, he’s is a great football player and a wonderful person! He’s my Best Friend, I Love You Derrick
I voted for Derrick Lyles he is an awesome athlete. I think he will go far in life. Great job this year Derrick. I love you!!!
I Vote Demetrius Cain. Outstanding performance.
If a favorite for the 2012 Player of the Year exists, it has to be Cain, who is only a junior at Hazlehurst. Already, he has been a stellar linebacker and has proven to be a workhorse running back if needed.
Lyles is in his senior year at Wesson.