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EA’s Odom earns first-team AISA All-State slot


News Staff Writer

Quinton Odom, a senior defensive back for Escambia Academy’s Cougars, was one of two high school football players from Escambia County named to the first team of their respective classification’s All-State squad for 2023.
Odom was one of three EA players chosen by the Alabama Sportswriters Association (ASWA) for recognition among Alabama’s best independent school defensive players for the season just past.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pound two-way starter tallied 34 tackles, added 18 assists and intercepted two passes for the Cougars last season. He also hauled in 39 passes for 1,053 yards and 19 TDs.
EA senior defensive lineman Zeke McElhaney (6-2, 300) was named to the second team AISA defense, while junior Keller Coston (5-11, 190) was tabbed as one of four all-around athletes on the second team.
McElhaney’s forte was tying up more than one opposing blocker, allowing his teammates to make tackles. He accumulated 29 tackles, 14 assists and a sack during his senior year.
Coston, who played quarterback and linebacker, connected on 120 of 208 pass attempts for 1,894 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also rushed for 886 yards and 11 TDs. On defense, he was credited with 28 solo tackles, 15 assists, 2 interceptions and a sack.
In all, 10 local players were included among the state’s best in their respective classifications.
In AHSAA tabulations, Escambia County High did not place a single player on the first or second offensive or defensive team, nor did any Blue Devils player earn honorable mention, despite one of the school’s best seasons in recent history.
Seven individuals were chosen from other teams within the county, including three from T.R. Miller (TRM) and two each from Flomaton High (FHS) and W.S. Neal High (WSN).
TRM defensive back Christopher Williams, a 5-11, 150-pound senior, was picked for the first unit of the Class 4A team, while senior Takyi Askew (6-2, 170) was named as one of four all-around athletes on the 4A second team. Junior offensive lineman J.R. Jernigan (6-4, 250) received honorable mention.
The county’s other first-team selection was Class 3A FHS running back Jax Fillmore (5-9, 180), also a senior. His teammate, 6-5, 280-pound senior defensive lineman Miles Adams, received honorable mention.
WSN had two players — junior offensive lineman Joe Lee (5-10, 300) and senior defensive back Carter Hodges (6-1, 190) — who earned honorable mention on the Class 3A team.