Parkway’s Antonio McGhee has been named the Outstanding Defensive Player on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team.
McGhee, a senior defensive lineman, is the first player in Parkway history to earn one of the top awards on an LSWA All-State team.
McGhee, the Defensive MVP on The Bossier Press-Tribune’s All-Parish team, helped Parkway win a share of the District 1-5A championship.
The Panthers went 11-2 and lost to state runner-up Barbe 45-35 in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
Parkway coach David Feaster said McGhee’s play and overall leadership on and off the field were big factors in the Panthers’ success.
“In this day and age of football, it’s gotten to the point where defensive linemen can really control the games,” he said. “Antonio was one of those guys that was good against the run and good against the pass. When people were trying to throw the ball he was the guy that was putting the pressure on them and making them throw early.
“His on the field play was a big part of it, but his off the field character and leadership meant a lot to our team. I’ve had teams before where the star player wasn’t a very good guy, wasn’t coachable or had a bad attitude. That always spells trouble.
“Fortunately, this year he and all of our players were great students and great character guys. As a result of that, every member of our faculty pulled for us because they kept seeing Antonio’s name out there, and I guarantee everybody on our faculty is proud of him for being named state MVP.”
The 6-foot, 270-pound McGhee led a Panthers defense that allowed opponents just 12.7 points per game during the regular season.
The Panthers held eight of their regular-season opponents to two touchdowns or less.
McGhee, a top college prospect who has yet to make his choice, had 106 tackles, including 34 for loss, and 11 sacks for the full 13-game season.
Five parish players made honorable mention — Parkway junior receiver Brodrick Jefferson, Airline senior receiver Laterious Pouncy, Parkway junior quarterback Brandon Harris, Airline senior quarterback Hayden Hildebrand and Airline junior defensive lineman OJ Smith.
All of those players were also All-Parish first-team selections.
Barbe, which finished 13-2 after losing to Rummel 35-14 in the state championship game, took the other two individual honors.
Buccaneers junior quarterback Kennon Fontenot was named the Outstanding Offensive Player, and Mike Cutrera was named Coach of the Year.
Note: Bossier senior quarterback Samuel Dudley was an honorable mention selection on the LSWA Class 3A All-State team.