Band/Cheer/Football Honored at Annual Banquet


The Tazewell football program relived the exciting 2022 campaign and honored its senior class on Sunday evening at their annual banquet, held at Tazewell Middle School.


The program recognized the band members, cheerleaders, and members of the middle school and varsity football teams while handing out different team awards. Chase Collins and Jimi Watson, the voices of the Bulldog Radio Network served as the master of ceremonies.


The first awards of the evening were presented by Band Director Caitlin Hutchinson.  The Tazewell High School Marching Band recently performed at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Earlier this season, the band finished in first place in music and marching at the Big Blue Classic in richlands, Virginia. The following marching band members were recognized for their outstanding individual achievements this season:


Most Improved


Cam Woodall and Clay Yearians


Rookie of the Year


Masyn Honaker




Macie Alford and Kaleigh Blevins


All-District Band Participants


Clayton Hilt


Audrey Miller


Aaron Beavers


All-State Eligible


Clayton Hilt


Next, Coach Whittaker, Coach Sparks, and Coach Blankenship recognized the following members of the Competition Cheer Squad for their All-Region and All-State awards:


All-Region First Team


Mallorie Whittaker


Ashton Rowe


Isabella Davis


Addison Sparks


All-Region Second Team


Alana Purvis


Riley Nunley


Katie Blevins


All-State Second Team


Mallorie Whittaker


After the Cheerleading Squad was recognized, Middle School Football Coach Shaquille McDonald honored the following middle school football players:


Most Improved Player – Austin Graham


Most Versatile Player – Kaleb Price


Linemen of the Year – Jesse McGraw


Defensive Player of the Year – Jakeem Beavers


Offensive Player of the Year – Chase McDonald


Most Valuable Player – Reid Stiltner


Jimi Watson then honored the Tazewell Football players who garnered All-District, All-Region, and All-State Team accolades.


All-District Team


– Brock Alley, LB, First Team


– Braylon Asbury, DL, Second Team


– Gabe Beavers, OL, Second Team


– Caleb Bowman, OL, Second Team


– Ricky Compton, OL, Second Team


– Carter Creasy, QB, Second Team


– Tyler Gillespie, DL, Second Team


– Cassius Harris, WR, First Team


– Cassius Harris, DB, First Team


– Logan McDonald, WR, Second Team


– Reece Mullins, LB, Second Team


– Brody Patterson, DB, Second Team


– Jaime Rizo, OL, First Team


– Jaime Rizo, DL, Second Team


– Jashon Taylor, DL, Second Team


– Kaizon Taylor, Defense All-Purpose, First Team


– Kaizon Taylor, RB, First Team


All-Region Team


– Brock Alley, LB, Second Team


– Cassius Harris, WR, First Team


– Cassius Harris, DB, First Team


– Jaime Rizo, OL, Second Team


– Kaizon Taylor, RB, Second Team


– Kaizon Taylor, Defense All-Purpose, Second Team


All-State Team


– Cassius Harris, WR, Second Team


– Cassius Harris, DB, Second Team


All-Bluefield Daily Telegraph Team


– Cassius Harris, WR, First Team


All-Bristol-Herald Courier Football Team


– Cassius Harris, WR, First Team


Following the celebration of those honors, the football program presented wide receiver coach Jalen Jordan with a game ball. In a game against Giles in 2012, Jordan caught five passes for 278 yards to set the school record for receiving yards in a game. The record still stands today. Jordan also scored 1,000 points during his high school basketball career, making him the only player in school history with 1,000 points in basketball and a 200-yard receiving game in football.


Next, Coach Young, Coach Harris, Coach McDaniel, and Coach Dudley presented the team awards.


Football Team Honors


Most Improved – Braylon Asbury, Junior


This award goes to the player who has shown the most growth in the physical and/or mental game. This improvement could have been within this particular season, or it could have been from the previous season to this season.


Junior Braylon Asbury started every game on the defensive line for the Bulldogs this season. He was named to the All-District Second Team. He finished the season with 20 tackles from his defensive tackle position.


Mr. Bulldog Award – Brock Alley, Junior


This award goes to the team member who truly lives what it means to be a Bulldog! ​Here is the inscription on the award: “For your dedication to the program, exemplifying everything it means to be a student-athlete, team player, ​and always exhibiting traits of a quality leader!”



Junior Brock Alley is one of the strongest members of the Tazewell football team both academically and physically. Brock maintains a 4.0 GPA and his bench press is an impressive 325 pounds. From his linebacker position this season, he finished with 48 solo tackles and assisted on 43 tackles. He finished with 2 sacks and 7 tackles for loss. Alley was a First-Team All-District Linebacker and a Second-Team All-Region Linebacker. Against Marion, Alley finished the game with 12 tackles and one tackle for loss. For his career, Alley has 151 total stops, 12 tackles for loss, and four sacks.



Jerry Johnson Linemen of the Year Award – Jaime Rizo, Junior


This award is named after the first Tazewell linemen to be named to the All-State Team.


Offensive and Defensive Linemen, Jaime Rizo repeats as the Jerry Johnson Linemen of the Year Award winner. The Junior became the first Tazewell offensive linemen to make the All-Region team since Josh Herndon achieved the honor during the Spring 2021 season. Rizo anchored the Tazewell offensive line this season. He helped the Bulldogs’ offense gain 554 yards and score 56 points in the Backyard Brawl victory over richlands. He also had a tremendous game when Tazewell scored 48 points against Fort Chiswell and gained 535 yards in the Senior Night victory. On defense, Rizo was a Second-Team All-District Award winner.


Jack Crabtree Mr. Defense Award – Kaizon Taylor, Junior


This award is named after a player Coach Dave Rider once called the best linebacker he ever coached. Jack Crabtree once recorded 17 tackles and assisted on 19 others during a Tazewell playoff game. He intercepted 7 passes from his linebacker position during his senior season. After graduating from Tazewell, Crabtree became one of the cornerstones of the Marshall Thundering Herd football program.


The Jack Crabtree Defensive MVP is Junior Kaizon Taylor. Taylor, was named Second-Team All-Region Defensive All Purpose for the second year in a row. He led the team with 77 ½ tackles. He had five sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and forced one fumble. Taylor recorded 12 ½ tackles in the game against Class 1A State Champion Riverheads. Against richlands in the Backyard Brawl, Taylor had 12 ½ tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 tackles for loss.


John Rainey Mr. Offense Award – Carter Creasy, Sophomore


This award is named after Tazewell’s All-Time Leading Rusher. Rainey rushed for over 3,500 yards and scored 54 touchdowns during his Tazewell career. Rainey along with Harrison Davis, Kent Merritt, and Stanley Land broke the color barrier on the University of Virginia football team in 1971. Rainey received his degree from the University of Virginia in three years and went on to get his master’s degree from Regent.


The John Rainey Most Valuable Offensive Player winner is Sophomore Carter Creasy. Creasy repeats as the John Rainey Mr. Offense Award winner. The sophomore signal caller has thrown for 5,070 yards and 48 touchdowns in the past two seasons. He has led the SWD in passing yards both years. This season he became the first quarterback in school history to have a 400+ yard passing game when he threw for 408 yards and 6 touchdowns against richlands. The 6 touchdown passes tied the school’s single game record that he set last season against Grundy. Creasy already holds the school record for 300-yard passing games with 8.


Donnie Mitchem presented the last team award of the evening, the Steve Mitchem Bullet Club Award. This award is presented annually to the football player who best exemplifies the character of former Bulldog great Steve Mitchem. Mitchem was a First-Team All-State defensive back selection in 1983. That same year, he was named the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Year. He continued his academic and athletic career at Virginia Tech where he earned a degree in Marketing Administration. In 1986, Mitchem played on the first Virginia Tech team to win a bowl game, as Tech won the Peach Bowl 25-24 over North Carolina State.


Last year’s winner of the award and Bridgewater College defensive back Jared Mullins was on hand to introduce this year’s winner. The four finalist for the award were junior linebacker Brock Alley, sophomore quarterback Carter Creasy, senior wide receiver/defensive back Cassius Harris, and junior offensive linemen/defensive linemen Jaime Rizo.


Steve Mitchem Bullet Club Award – Cassius Harris, Senior


The Steve Mitchem Bullet Club Award winner is Cassius Harris. Harris leaves Tazewell High School as one of the most prolific wide receivers in VHSL history. He is the Tazewell school record holder in receptions in a game (20), receptions in a season (104), receptions in a career (216), receiving yards in a season (1,423), receiving yards in a career (2,909), receiving touchdowns in a game (3), receiving touchdowns in a season (11), receiving touchdowns in a career (25), and 100-yard receiving games (13). He is the only player in school history to record a 200-yard rushing game and a 200-yard receiving game during his career. He is the VHSL record holder for receptions in a game with 20 and receptions in a season with 104. He is second on the VHSL’s All-Time Receptions List with 216. He is 8th on the VHSL’s All-Time Receiving Yards List with 2,909 yards. Harris is a University of Richmond commit.


With this year’s Banquet in the books, the football team will now turn its attention towards the 2023 campaign, which is set to begin on Saturday, Sept. 2nd at home against defending state champion Riverheads. The 10-game slate features five contests at Bulldog Stadium, including the Backyard Brawl against richlands on Friday, September 8th.


Once again this season, all games can be heard on the Bulldog Radio Network with Chase Collins and Jimi Watson on the call.


2022 Team Highlighted Records


– The senior class is the first class in school history to make the playoffs four straight seasons.


– The 291 points scored this season is the seventh highest point total in school history.


– Most Single-Game Passing Yards in school history – 408 vs. richlands on October 7th, 2022


– Most points scored by a Tazewell team in the Backyard Brawl – 56 vs. richlands on October 7th, 2022


2022 Individual Highlighted Records


THS Single-Game Passing TDs – Carter Creasy, 6 (tied record already held) vs. richlands on October 7th, 2022


THS Single-Game Receiving TDs – Logan McDonald 3 (tied record already held) vs richlands on October 7th, 2002


Individual 400+ Yard Passing Games This Season


– Carter Creasy, 408 vs. richlands on October 7th, 2022 (first QB in school history to throw for 400+ yards in a game)


Individual 300+ Yard Passing Games This Season


– Carter Creasy, 312 vs. Fort Chiswell on October 28th, 2022


– Carter Creasy, 303 vs. Grundy on September 30th, 2022


Individual 200+ Yard Rushing Games This Season


– Cassius Harris, 206 vs. Virginia High on August 26th, 2022


 Individual 100+ Yard Receiving Games This Season


– Cassius Harris, 195 vs. Marion on October 21st, 2022


– Cassius Harris, 150 vs. Bluefield on October 14th, 2022


– Cassius Harris, 149 vs. Grundy on September 30th, 2022


– Logan McDonald 144 vs richlands on October 7th, 2022


– Cassius Harris 124 vs Fort Chiswell on October 28th, 2022


– Cassius Harris 111 vs richlands on October 7th, 2022


– Logan McDonald 101 vs Fort Chiswell on October 28th, 2022


Individual Defensive Touchdowns This Season


– Tyler Gillespie fumble recovery in the endzone vs. John Battle on September 16th, 2022


– Gavin Duty 60-yard interception return vs. Fort Chiswell on October 28th, 2022


Individual 10+ Tackle Games This Season


– Kaizon Taylor, 12 ½ vs. richlands on October 7th, 2022


– Kaizon Taylor, 12 ½ vs. Riverheads on September 24th, 2022


– Brock Alley, 12 vs. Marion on October 21st, 2022


– Cassius Harris, 11 vs. Riverheads on October 7th, 2022



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