ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM: Jemison RB named player of year

Published 1:20 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

Javae Swindle had already turned in a sophomore season in which he was the Chilton County area’s leading rusher, and as a junior he was on an even more impressive pace.

His Jemison team felt like it would win handily on a visit to region foe Holt in September 2010, but at halftime, the 12-8 score was closer than expected—and Swindle had only accounted for about 30 yards.

In the locker room at halftime, then-coach Brad Abbott gave the Panthers an earful. Swindle, as one of the squad’s most talented players, took the brunt of the tirade.

One for the ages: Jemison senior Javae Swindle rushed for 4,503 yards and 57 touchdowns combined over the last three seasons.

“He said, ‘We’ve got our star running back running like he’s scared, like he doesn’t want to be here,’” Swindle said.

Swindle disagreed, of course, but the experience may have been a turning point in his career. He rushed for about 250 yards in the second half of a 42-16 win.

“Always start out strong; don’t wait for your opponent to get a lead on you,” Swindle said about the lesson learned that day.

Just two weeks later, at Calera, Swindle rushed for six touchdowns, and the Panthers needed every one of those scores in a 41-38 win.

Swindle rushed for an average of 157 yards per game as a junior but somehow managed to top that mark as a senior, rushing for 160 yards per game even though hampered by a shoulder injury that forced him to miss one game.

As the most dynamic player in the Chilton County area, Swindle is the The Clanton Advertiser’s Football Player of the Year.

At 5’5” and 150 pounds, Swindle isn’t a big back, but he makes up for it with quickness and speed (he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds)

Jemison coach Merritt Bowden, who specializes in defense, can imagine the task of scheming to stop Swindle.

“He’s just a nightmare because he’s capable of doing so many different things,” Bowden said. “The thing that he’s best at is making people miss. He also runs with a lot more power than people realize. He is the best running back I’ve ever seen, pound-for-pound.”

Bowden’s last statement shouldn’t be taken lightly, considering the coach has spent time at Isabella, Oak Mountain and Thorsby high schools in addition to Jemison, and also at Auburn and Jacksonville State universities.

“The thing that’s most impressive about him is the way he carries himself, the way he is off the field, the kind of young man he is,” Bowden said. “That means so much.”



•Quarterback: Tre Bryant, Senior, Jemison

•Running back: Jimmie Lanier, Senior, Billingsley

•Running back: Javae Swindle, Senior, Jemison

•Receiver: Eddie Hubbard, Senior, Jemison

•Receiver: Anthony Johnson, Junior, Maplesville

•Receiver: Matt Morgan, Sophomore, Thorsby

•Center: Johnathon Causey, Senior, Maplesville

•Offensive line: Logan Baker, Senior, Chilton Co.

•Offensive line: Delondre DeJarnett, Senior, Chilton Co.

•Offensive line: Freeman Ellison, Senior, Jemison

•Offensive line: Tyler Vowell, Senior, Maplesville


•Defensive line: Chase Brown, Senior, Chilton Co.

•Defensive line: Dyquan Floyd, Senior, Chilton Co.

•Defensive line: Jonathan Spivey, Senior, Thorsby

•Linebacker: Cameron Andrews, Junior, Maplesville

•Linebacker: Madison Bolton, Senior, Jemison

•Linebacker: Carlos Caver, Senior, Billingsley

•Linebacker: Richard Hilliard, Junior, Chilton Co.

•Defensive back: Bay Lucas, Senior, Verbena

•Defensive back: Cameron Morrow, Senior, Maplesville

•Defensive back: Trahe Smith, Senior, Jemison

•Defensive back: Tyler Smith, Freshman, Isabella

•Return specialist: Bobby Knox, Junior, Isabella

Honorable mention

•De’Rodgus Campbell, Running back, Sophomore, Isabella

•Terrence Edwards, Defensive line, Senior, Billingsley

•Jarrod Green, Senior, Offensive line, Isabella

•Phillip Hensley, Linebacker, Junior, Verbena

•Brintain Hill, Running back, Junior, Maplesville

•Dustin McDaniel, Defensive back, Senior, Jemison

•Braden McRae, Quarterback, Sophomore, Thorsby

•Austin Rossi, Linebacker, Junior, Chilton Co.

•Michael Seaton, Running back, Junior, Chilton Co.

•Duante Talley, Running back, Freshman, Verbena

•Dalton Turner, Linebacker, Junior, Thorsby

–Selections were based on coaches’ nominations, season statistics and overall team success.