By Lee Davis
Journal Sports Writer
By any measure, 2011 was a season that few Mountain Brook fans will ever forget.
Although the Spartans fell short in their pursuit of a Class 6A championship, Coach Chris Yeager’s team accomplished much more than many expected:
4Mountain Brook ran the table for a perfect 10-0 regular season mark.
4The Spartans won Class 6A’s Region 6 championship, generally considered to be the toughest big-school league in Alabama.
4Mountain Brook defeated region rival and eventual Class 6A runner-up Hoover 17-9 to give the Spartans their first win over the Buccaneers since the 1980s.
4Yeager’s squad advanced all the way to the third round of the Class 6A playoffs before losing a controversial 35-28 decision to Oxford on the road.
With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that Mountain Brook dominates the 2011 All-Over the Mountain team, which is produced by an exclusive Over the Mountain Journal poll of the head football coaches of the eight schools that participate in Class 6A or 5A competition. Ten Spartans were chosen for the team, and Yeager was the choice for 2011 Over the Mountain Coach of the Year.
Yeager , who succeeded Joey Jones as the Mountain Brook coach nearly a decade ago, built the Spartans into one of Alabama’s most consistent football powerhouses.
“We are proud to represent Mountain Brook as part of this terrific all-star team,” said Yeager. “What we accomplished this year is a tribute to the hard work our young men put into our season this year.
“It also speaks to the support we receive from our school, our administration and the Mountain Brook community as a whole.”
Coach Josh Niblett’s Hoover Bucs placed seven players on the elite team, as did Coach Fred Yancey’s Briarwood Lions. The Bucs finished the season with a 13-2 record, falling in the Class 6A finals in a hard-fought 35-34 loss to Prattville. Briarwood went 12-2 and reached Class 5A’s fourth round.
In addition, Hoover’s Caleb Sims, a versatile wide receiver/running back/kick returner, shared Player of the Year honors with Vestavia Hills running back Georgie Salem.
The Spartans’ Edward Aldag and Ben Craft of Briarwood were named quarterbacks for the All-Over the Mountain team. Joining them in the backfield are Dakota Daniel of Hoover, Mark Rector of Mountain Brook, Bradley Bostick of Oak Mountain, Matthew Futuro of Briarwood and Salem of Vestavia. Bostick and Salem are repeaters from last year’s all-star team.
This year’s receiver corps may be one of the best in memory. It includes Gavin Golsan of Mountain Brook, Nyck Young of Homewood and Daniel Robert of Briarwood.
No offense, regardless of how talented, can succeed without an outstanding forward wall. Offensive linemen qualifying for the team were Ben Tamburello of Spain Park, Daniel Aust of Hoover, Paul Davis and Walker Byrd of Mountain Brook, Charlie Vines of Vestavia and Nick Maxey and Tim Crenshaw of Briarwood.
Coates Doss of Mountain Brook and Canon Smith of Briarwood were both selected at tight end.
Jake Hoffman of Spain Park and Trent Marshall of John Carroll Catholic were named the team’s placekickers.
The 2011 All-Over the Mountain defensive team offers a rugged front line. Chosen for the squad were Jeremy Boyd and Trent Dunn of Hoover, Chris Finley of Homewood, Harry Reich of Mountain Brook, Jacob Chaffin of Spain Park and David D’Amico, Vestavia.
As always, the Over the Mountain area produced many of metro Birmingham’s best linebackers. Earning places on this year’s All-Over the Mountain team were Aaron Rowell of Homewood, Chris Jones of Oak Mountain, Jeniah Jackson of Spain Park, Win Cowden and Hatton Smith of Mountain Brook and Robert Burgess and Daniel Bostick of John Carroll Catholic.
This year’s all-star secondary is fast, rangy and hard-hitting. Defensive backs selected were Devon Earl and Marlon Humphrey of Hoover, Chris Humes and Devon Brown of Spain Park, Zach Gillen of Mountain Brook, Kalen Reed of Briarwood and Jimmy Laughlin of Vestavia.
The punter is Ryan Raspino of Vestavia, who also worked as the Rebels’ placekicker.