They led Belleview to an 11-3 record, a District 5-1A championship and a 7-0 mark against Marion County foes (outscoring them 218-33) while recording Madden-like statistics, but the Star-Banner’s inaugural flag football players of the year, Sierra Harris and Tay Riche, say they aren’t content.

On a team level, both would like to help BHS move beyond the first round of the FHSAA playoffs after a season-ending 33-19 home loss to Brandon in the Region 3-1A semifinals left them unsatisfied.

And individually ... well, that’s where it gets fun.

Harris, a sophomore safety/quarterback, grabbed 16 interceptions, but added she was a little frustrated.

“I need a pick-6,” said Harris, who also completed 111-of-217 passes for 1,758 yards and 20 touchdowns on offense. “I haven’t gotten one, and that is my goal.”

Riche, a junior running back, said she enjoyed all the success her feet brought her (1,546 rushing yards with 27 touchdowns and 512 receiving yards with seven touchdowns, as well as a punt-return touchdown), but said she wants to be more involved in two other ways.

She would like to improve her arm so that she is asked to throw more passes (she was 19-of-34 for 203 yards with five touchdowns as a change-up to Harris) and line up on defense.

“I want to play safety,” Riche said with a laugh. “I could have intercepted a lot of passes. Or I could have rushed the quarterback and gotten sacks.

“Coach (Jeff Brewer) told me one game that if I got three touchdowns, he’d put me in on defense. I got the third one on the final play, so it didn’t happen.”

For now, it’s tough to argue with the roles either had and how they went about them.

Riche was the fastest player on the field in each of the Rattlers’ games. She also served as the player responsible for hyping up her teammates just before the opening snap and volunteered tips to the defense from the sidelines.

Also the starting kicker on Belleview’s tackle team (with a field-goal long of 41 yards in practice), Harris was the flag football leader as BHS’s quarterback, and defensively she morphed from light-hearted to intense when between the lines, sometimes putting would-be receivers on their backs.

“She’s super-aggressive — sometimes, it’s like she forgets which (football) she is playing,” Brewer said jokingly. “She probably also led the county in personal fouls.”

“When I’m the last line of defense and no one is behind me, I tackle them,” Harris reasoned.

Off the field Riche and Harris said they have become friends, and on the field they deliver unique contributions to the Rattlers.

“They both are so valuable to us,” Brewer said. “As the quarterback and safety, we put a lot of trust in Sierra, and she has rewarded that trust. And (Tay) is electric. She is a threat to do something amazing each time she touches the ball.

“You can’t pick one over the other as far as what they meant to us. They are a dynamic package.”

 

All-county flag football

First Team Offense

Quarterback: Sierra Harris, Belleview, So. — 1,758 yards and 20 touchdowns passing, 295 yards rushing.

Quarterback: Tatianna Daniels, Lake Weir, Fr. — 500 yards rushing, 6 TDs. 368 yards passing, 3 passing TDs.

Running Back: Shatayvia Riche, Belleview, Jr. — 1,546 yards and 27 touchdowns rushing, 512 yards and seven touchdowns receiving.

Running Back: Shadiamond Whyte, Lake Weir, So. — 450 yards rushing, 5 TDs.

Running Back: Nadia Lofton, Vanguard, Sr. — Senior leader and one of the Knights' top ball carriers.

Wide Receiver: Rheamesha Gordon, Belleview, Sr. — 346 yards and six touchdowns receiving, 262 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

Wide Receiver: Jacquelyn Pacheco, Belleview, Sr. — 328 yards and five touchdowns receiving.

Wide Receiver: Kyrah Whitney, West Port — Seven touchdowns scored.

Center: Natalie Lucas, Belleview, Sr. — Long-snapped every play, led Rattlers’ with 29 receptions.

 

First Team Defense

Linebacker: Brenna Coulson, Belleview, So. — 83 flag pulls, three interceptions, three sacks.

Linebacker: Rheamesha Gordon, Belleview, Sr. — Led Rattlers’ with 90 flag pulls and had two interceptions, two sacks.

Linebacker: Natalie Lucas, Belleview, Sr. — 46 flag pulls, three sacks, three interceptions.

Defensive Back: Sierra Harris, Belleview, So. — Led Rattlers’ with 16 interceptions.

Defensive Back: Cheyenne Maksymiak, North Marion, Sr. — Two interceptions, seven pass breakups, 45 flag pulls (15 for a loss).

Defensive Back: Lauryn Palmer, North Marion, Sr. — Three interceptions, 35 flag pulls (10 for a loss).

Defensive Back: Joscelyn Mike, West Port — Five interceptions with one for a touchdown.

Defensive Back: Samion Green, Lake Weir, Jr. — Free safety came away with 8 interceptions.

Honorable Mention

Belleview — Cheyenne Harris, Yasmine Taylor, Jordan Correa, Jesinia Mercado, Kaitlyn Erhardt. Forest — Austin Coomer, Kristen Reynolds, Shannon Sacauskas. West Port — Jennifer Marques, Autumn Crouch. Dunnellon — Alexis Thomas. North Marion — Kiari Singleton, Jerrica Jenkins, Deasia Styles, Erianna Williams, Emaria Williams, Jade Rodriguez, Daiz’Ja Mendoza, Emilie Norton. Vanguard — Quinteria Allen, Nasia Powell.

— Compiled by Josh Kimble, Staff writer

The Ocala Star-Banner all-county teams and players of the year were selected by sports editor Paul Kardasz and staff writer Josh Kimble with help from area coaches. If a team is not represented, it is because the coach did not respond to repeated emails sent to the school requesting information.