Meet the 2021 Palm Beach Post All-County football offensive player of the year nominees

Emilee Smarr
Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach County football programs made several deep runs in the FHSAA state playoffs after a hyphenated football season in 2020.

Local high school athletes took the field with something to prove, contributing to 15 area teams qualifying for postseason competition.

These are nominees for the football offensive player of the year for the Palm Beach County High School Sports Awards. The winner will be announced at the show this coming spring. More details about the program are coming soon.

More Awards:Palm Beach Central's Markel King claims Palm Beach County Player of the Year

More Football:2021 Report Card: How Palm Beach County football teams graded out this season

During the live show, these nominees will be honored, along with the top three finalists and the player of the year. All official nominees can receive a free ticket. Check back later in the year for information on how to RSVP. 

The Palm Beach County High School Sports Awards show is part of the USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, the largest high school sports recognition program in the country.

Football Offense Nominees

Quarterbacks

Ahmad Haston, Palm Beach Central.

Ahmad Haston, Palm Beach Central, Junior  The three-star led the Broncos to their first-ever undefeated regular season until they faced Treasure Coast in 8A regional finals. Haston managed a 62.3 percent completion rate, passing for 3,108 yards and rushing 486 for 38 total touchdowns, and emerged as one of the most prominent dual-threat quarterbacks in the state.

Austin Simmons, Pahokee.

Austin Simmons, Pahokee, Freshman – The 6-foot-3, 185-pound true freshman had one of the most intriguing stories and stat lines of the season. An early suspension barred him to just six games, but Simmons made up for lost time with a 66.2 percent completion rate over 1,684 yards for 15 touchdowns – long of 67 – and threw just four interceptions in 145 pass attempts, capping Pahokee's revival with a regional final appearance and an offer from Florida State.

Tyler Aronson, Benjamin.

Tyler Aronson, Benjamin, Sophomore – Leading a group of young Bucs out of a strenuous regular season to reach the third-round of FHSAA playoffs, Aronson posted 2,177 passing yards for 29 touchdowns and added three more on the run. Built for the position at 6-3, 205 pounds, colleges including Miami, Florida Atlantic, and App State have offered Aronson.

Ryan Anthony, Wellington.

Ryan Anthony, Wellington, Junior – Anthony capitalized on the potential he showed last season this year in Wellington's competitive return. Anthony completed 68 passes for 976 yards and 13 touchdowns against five interceptions. Just as effective on the run – if not more – Anthony posted seven rushing touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards per carry over 750 yards total.

Running Backs

Omari Mitchell, Atlantic.

Omari Mitchell, Atlantic, Senior – The Eagles had a troubling season, finishing 5-6, but Mitchell consistently managed to be a bright spot. As Atlantic's lead rusher with 1,252 yards, averaging 139.2 yards per game, Mitchell contributed 10 touchdowns, adding 144 yards in eight catches at receiver.

Trey Rainey, Boca Raton.

Trey Rainey, Boca Raton, Senior – The Super 11 athlete posted 1,291 yards in 144 touches to become the area's rushing leader, averaging nine yards per carry. Rainey also had 177 receiving yards. In the Bobcats' 8-3 season, Rainey posted 15 touchdowns total.

Bill Young, St. Andrew's.

Bill Young, St. Andrew's, Junior – Young managed to establish himself with five school records in the Scots' 6-5 route into the playoffs. The Lou Groza Player of the Year nominee put up 1,217 yards and averaged over 121 yards per game, leading St. Andrew's in scoring with 18 touchdowns on the season.

Chauncey Bowens, Benjamin.

Chauncey Bowens, Benjamin, Sophomore – Bowens fought through an early season injury to post 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns in 10 games and was the spark that electrified Benjamin's run game. Receiving, Bowens made 12 catches, including a 78-yarder and a touchdown. 

Emonte Brown, Jupiter.

Emonte Brown, Jupiter, Junior – In the Warriors' Wing-T offense, all eyes are on Brown, who recorded 1,172 rushing yards of 1,671 all-purpose for 15 touchdowns total.

Wide Receivers

Reece Larson, Wellington.

Reece Larson, Wellington, Senior – Larson woke up the Wolverines, helping Wellington (7-4) churn out its first winning season since 2018 and a playoff berth. Larson had 25 receptions for 450 yards and eight touchdowns and was often a momentum changer ahead of critical drives, returning for 550 yards and three touchdowns.

Javorian Wimberly, Palm Beach Central.

Javorian Wimberly, Palm Beach Central, Junior – The other half to the Broncos' dynamic duo, Wimberly contributed to Central's explosive scoring patterns at wide and punt returner, recording 987 receiving yards of 1,179 all-purpose for 13 touchdowns total.

Brian LaFrance, Jupiter Christian.

Brian LaFrance, Jupiter Christian, Senior – The Eagles soared this season in the SSC with LaFrance's help. Jupiter's top scorer posted 1,151 yards and 17 touchdowns, adding a scoring 15-yard rush at Inlet Grove and two kickoff return tuddies to bring his total to 20 for the season.

Silas Hinson, Inlet Grove.

Silas Hinson, Inlet Grove, Senior – A transfer from Santaluces, Hinson helped the Hurricanes field a team from scratch while managing to become the leading receiver in both the county and the state. Hinson averaged 17.9 yards per reception, posting a total of 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns in 68 catches. Hinson's hands also came in clutch on defense with three interceptions.

Athletes

Markel King, Palm Beach Central.

Markel King, Palm Beach Central, Senior – The Lou Groza Player of the Year winner let Palm Beach County know just how good it feels to be king in his first and only ride as a Bronco. King – a Park Vista transfer – proved to be undefendable, averaging 16.7 yards per carry for 1,083 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. King contributed just as much as target for Haston with 28 receptions for 636 yards and six touchdowns.

Naivyan Cargill, Palm Beach Gardens.

Naivyan Cargill, Palm Beach Gardens, Senior – At 6-6, 220 pounds, Cargill is built for the next level – and this season, he played like it as a receiver, tight end, and outside linebacker. Offensively, Cargill was the Gators' lead receiver recording 35 receptions for 506 yards and three touchdowns. Cargill's hands came in handy once again in the trenches, posting 2 interceptions and adding 55 tackles and three sacks.

Tovani Mizell, Cardinal Newman.

Tovani Mizell, Cardinal Newman, Sophomore – Mizell already turned heads as a four-star running back. However, head coach Jack Daniels started giving Mizell reps at wide receiver midseason and created a man possessed. In the backfield, Mizell had 616 yards and eight touchdowns. Mizell contributed six more touchdowns at wide, receiving for 481 yards – long of 76.

Offensive Line

Dalton Lyons, Benjamin.

Dalton Lyons, Benjamin, Senior – The 6-5, 300-pound center, guard, and tackle led Benjamin's trenches with 94 pancakes and didn't allow a single direct sack in 10 games. 

Dezmond Penn, Atlantic.

Dezmond Penn, Atlantic, Senior – In 486 snaps, Penn never fumbled and amassed 62 pancakes in the Eagles' into the postseason.

Josh Kruk, American Heritage - Delray.

Josh Kruk, American Heritage - Delray, Senior – The 6-4 lineman posted 79 pancakes, not allowing a sack in 10 games to help the Stallions reach playoffs. 

Keon Kindred, Glades Central.

Keon Kindred, Glades Central, Senior – Kindred broke out over the summer and established himself as an elite tackle prospect, standing at 6-5, 290 pounds and carrying the quickness he had on the basketball court over to the football field. The three-star collected 75 pancakes on the season and finished out with a commitment to the University of Maryland.

Ja'Kavion Nonar, Glades Central.

Ja'Kavion Nonar, Glades Central, Senior – Another three-star out of the Muck, Nonar was a leader and change-maker on the Raiders' line despite not being able to take the field until October. In the meantime, Nonar was optioning where he would take his talents for the next few years, harboring offers from the University of Florida, Ole Miss, Pitt, and more, before ultimately deciding to sign with Maryland.

Edwin Mendez, Jupiter.

Edwin Mendez, Jupiter, Senior – Mendez forced opposing teams to watch the guards in Jupiter's offensive scheme and allowed teammates like Brown to see success on the field, in addition to his own. The First Team All-State athlete totaled 31 pancakes, 16 tackles – four for loss – and one forced fumble in 2021. 

Gavin Joseph, Boca Raton.

Gavin Joseph, Boca Raton, Senior – In 11 games with the Bobcats' dominant run game this season, Joseph recorded 44 pancakes, not giving up any sacks. In Week 9, Joseph recorded 12 pancakes in a single performance. 

Addison Hoffman, St. Andrew's.

Addison Hoffman, St. Andrew's, Senior – Although he's 6-7, 225 pounds, Hoffman is a speedy lineman and tight end, allowing him to force 32 pancakes while the Scots piled up more than 2,500 rushing yards. 

Honorable Mentions

Quarterbacks

Dylan Wilkins, Glades Day, Senior

Brock Hansel, Park Vista, Senior

Running Backs

Bobby Smith Jr. , Boynton Beach, Junior

Corey Reddick, Atlantic, Senior

Micah Steele, Pahokee, Senior

Wide Receivers

Brandyn Butler, American Heritage – Delray, Senior

Luby Maurice Jr. , Palm Beach Central, Senior

Athletes

Xavier Scott, Dwyer, Senior

Offensive Line

Landon Carman, Wellington, Senior

Jordan Reyes, Seminole Ridge, Senior

Sean Rooney, Benjamin, Senior

Joseph Pagan, Boynton Beach, Senior