As the regular season is scheduled to begin this week, several area players have been receiving preseason accolades.
Two Douglas County players - Mataio Soli and Diego Huerta - and Chapel Hill senior Miles Richardson were recently named to the RecruitGeorgia.com all-state teams.
Soli, a senior defensive end, and Huerta, a junior punter, were named to the Class 6A preseason all-state teams.
Richardson, a senior cornerback, was named to the Class 4A preseason all-state team by the online recruiting service.
Both Soli and Huerta were also named to the Georgia High School Football Daily’s Preseason Class 6A All-State team, which was released a week ago.
Collecting honors is nothing new to Soli, an Arkansas commitment. He was named all-region and all-state following last season.
Huerta was also chosen all-region following last season.
In addition, Soli is part of the Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award Watch List.
This award is sponsored by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, which is based in Hawaii.
The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding senior high school football player of Polynesian ancestry. The Watch List is composed of 43 players from 29 different high schools.
According to its website, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors.It was established in 2013 by former NFL players esse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa with its board members including former Atlanta Falcons player and coach June Jones.
Soli’s father, Junior Soli, is Samoan. The elder Soli is the defensive line coach for the Tigers, and a former all-state player at Spencer High in Columbus.
Last season, Soli had 77 tackles, including 49 solo tackles.
Soli finished with 20 tackles for losses and 18 sacks with seven quarterback hurries. He had an interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery and two caused fumbles.
Huerta averaged 41.6 punts last season on 42 punts. He had a career long of 65 yards.
Richardson had 21 tackles and five interceptions as he was named to the All-Region 5-AAAA first team.