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Teetzman lauded for special teams play

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By Dwane Wilder

Winless and player of the year aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence.

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However, the Region 1-1A high school football coaches didn’t penalize Jellico place-kicker Jacob Teetzman for playing on an unsuccessful team.

Teetzman was selected as special teams player of the year, as much for his strength and reliability as his accuracy. He made 10 of 12 point-after kicks and finished the season with a 27-yard field goal against Unaka.

“He is real good at placing the ball off the tee on deep kicks,” said Blue Devils’ coach Danny Oakes.

“Anytime you get a player of the year, even on a team that didn’t win a game all season, it’s special.”

A 6-foot-1 junior from Berlin, Germany, Teetzman is the second consecutive foreign exchange player to kick for Jellico. Last year, Brazilian soccer player Arthur Munhoz decided to give American football a try and ended up leading the Blue Devils to a winning season.

“The last two years have been a blessing to us,” Oakes said of the opportunity to coach foreign players.

“Jacob just stepped in and carried on. He didn’t get many opportunities to kick field goals because we just didn’t get close enough.”

Halfway through the season, Teetzman had also worked himself into the defensive lineup as a shutdown corner.

“He turned out to be one of our better one-on-one defenders. He was a great asset to us,” said Oakes.

Joining Teetzman on the All-Region 1-A team were Jellico teammates Ryan Morris and Josh Kennedy, the top two rushers and two of the top five tacklers for the Blue Devils.

Running back David Amos of league champion Grace Chistian Academy was named most valuable player in Region 1-1A. The offensive player of the year was Cloudland quarterback Randal Johnson while the defensive player of the year was tackle Josh Peters of Unaka. Tyler Shelton of Cosby was honored as coach of the year by his peers.

Grace Christian had the most all-region selections with seven, followed by Cosby with five, Hampton and Cloudland four each, Jellico and Unaka three each.

Next year, Jellico will move into District 4-2A with Oliver Springs, Wartburg and Oneida.