MOULTRIE – The Colquitt County players and coaches received their 2014 Class AAAAAA state championship rings on Sunday at the annual football banquet held at the Charlie A. Gray Junior High School cafeteria.
The Packers went undefeated and won the school’s first state title since 1994.
And while they obviously proved themselves on the football field, they also have represented Colquitt County well off the field.
School Superintendent Samuel DePaul, who received the first state championship ring from Packers coach Rush Propst, called the Packers, “the most courteous and respectful bunch of children I’ve ever been around.”
Principal Stephanie Terrell remarked on the favorable comments she has received on how well the team behaved while representing the school.
The state championship was the sixth won by Propst, but his first in Georgia.
He won five state titles at Hoover High in Alabama.
But the 2014 Packers gave him just his second undefeated team.
The team also allowed Colquitt County to be recognized as a national power, he said, giving much of the credit to his coaching staff.
“You’re only as good as your help,” he said.
A number of individual awards were presented.
• The Rocky Jones Strong Man Awards, presented in memory of former Colquitt County offensive lineman, longtime supporter of Packer athletics and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member Rocky Jones, went to Damion Adams and Alfred Brown.
• The Dale Williams Community Service Awards, presented in honor of the William Bryant and Albany State quarterback and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member Dale Williams, went to Til Blaylock, Alex Price, Zamious Bonner and Devon Day.
• The Ralph Taylor Special Teams Award, presented in memory of former William Bryant High coach and Sports Hall of Fame member Ralph Taylor, went to Luis Martinez and Kiel Pollard.
• The Friedlander Family Boar Hog Award, which goes to the players who exhibit toughness and dedication on the defensive side of the ball, was presented by Kirk Friedlander to Bull Barge and Quintin Hampton.
The linebackers also won the awards for the 2013 season
• The Colquitt County High School Academic Awards, presented by Zach Grage, was presented to players with grade averages of 89.5 or above.
Those players were Alfred Brown, Micah Edwards, Quintin Hampton, Daniel Brinson, Chase Parrish, Ty Phillips, Latravious Thomas, Ian Brinson, Jamarion Edwards, Coy Kirkland, Tory Ponder, Trenton Roberts and Jay Saunders.
• The Board of Education Academic Award, presented by Roy Reeves, went to Cade Blackburn, Bull Barge and T.J. Smith.
• The Charles Taylor Pippin Unsung Hero Award, was presented by Charlie Hillebrand in memory of three-year Packer starting quarterback Charlie Pippin, who play at the University of Florida before being killed in car wreck in 1970 at age 25.
The awards went to Ricky Dunbar and Will Matney.
• The Virgil Seay Special Teams Award, presented in honor of the former Packer and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member who went to win a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1984 Washington Redskins, went to Javonta Woods and Ty “Grump” Jones.
• The Tom White Scrambler Award, presented by his son Mike White in memory of the longtime line coach and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member, went to Micah Edwards and Marquan Greene.
• The Virgil “Bud” Willis Character Award, named in honor of the former Moultrie Packers coach and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member, went to T.J. Smith and Chase Parrish.
• The William “Knuck” McCrary Fighting Spirit Award was presented in memory the former Moultrie High coach and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member, to Tomarcio Reese and Alfred Brown.
• The George A. Horkan Sportsmanship Award, presented by Frank Horkan, award was first presented in 1956. It was presented to Brandon Wynn and I-Key Pinkins.
• The Ray Goff Top Gun Award, presented in honor of the former Packer quarterback and University of Georgia quarterback and coach, who is a member of the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame.
The award went to Sihiem King. Goff himself presented the award to King.
• The Jimmy Jeter “Mr. Dependable” Awards went to Cade Blackburn and Alex Williams.
• The Lavasky King Packer Pride Most Improved Award was presented in memory of the former Colquitt County running back who was killed on Jan. 7, 1995, just weeks after helping lead the Packers to their first state champion.
The awards went to Zay Lewis and Ty Lee.
• The Bobby Cobb True Grit Award, presented in honor of the former Packer lineman and Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame member, went Shaun Bonner, Noah Moore, Ja’Quan Blakely and Rakeem Hightower.
• The Dextra Polite “Ultimate Competitor” Award is presented in honor of the former Packer and Clemson standout and current Colquitt County coach. It went to Taif Smith.
Colquitt County athletic trainer Ryan Kebler presented awards to the athletic and medical staff.
Assistant coach Jeremy Rowell presented the defensive scout team awards to Eric Reese, Alan Key, John Hall, Quan Singletary and Jerry Bozeman.
Assistant coach Joey Bennett presented the offensive scout team awards to Daniel Brinson, Caleb Paige, Jay Saunders and Coy Kirkland.
Receiving the Junior Leadership of the Year Awards were Chase Parrish, Kiel Pollard, Daniel Brinson, Ty Lee, Noah Moore, Shaun Bonner and Chris Bouie and defensive players, Dee Walker, Jay Blakely, Ty Phillips, Aikaari Ryce, Akivie Bailey, Landon Scott, Rakeem Hightower and Quinton Moore.
Coach Rush Propst presented the Packers captains Bull Barge, Cade Blackburn, Alfred Brown, Quintin Hampton, Sihiem King and Tomarcio Reese with plaques.
Also honored were the Packers who were named to the All-Region 1-AAAAAA team and to the Class AAAAAA All-State team.
Propst noted that 14 players from the team were going on to continue their careers at the next level.
He also expressed his appreciation to the Packer fan base for their support, which was especially on display at the state championship game at the Georgia Dome.
The 2014 football cheerleaders were introduced, as were their top scholars.
Susan and Joe Childs of Pic-n-Stitch Embroidery presented a check to the football program for $7,500 from the Chomp for Champs fund-raiser.
The money will go toward the cost of the team’s state championship rings.
Packer Touchdown Club President Patrick Mobley said the club has not yet met its goal for raising money for the rings and is still seeking donations.
The club is selling state championship pictures created by Colquitt County artist Randy Gibbs.
The pictures are $150 unframed and $250 framed. Those interested should contact Ricky Griffin.
State championship fan rings and pendants are on sale through Jostens J&S Campus Supply.
The rings are $295 and the pendants are $255.
They will be on sale in the DeMott Theater at the high school from 10-11 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. on March 20 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 9 at Moultrie Technical College. For more information on the fan rings and pendants, contact Scott Jernigan at 229-435-1809.