MOULTRIE — At the annual Colquitt County High football banquet on Thursday, Packers head football coach Tim Cokely revived long-bestowed permanent awards that had not been presented in a number of years and added two new ones.

The Boar Hog, Horkan Sportsmanship Award, Charlie Pippin Unsung Hero Award and the Knuck McCrary Fighting Spirit Award were brought out of mothballs on Tuesday and their presenters gave brief histories of how they came into being.

And two new awards — honoring the special teams player of the year and top weightlifter — were added to list of honors made at the banquet, which honored the 2005 football team.

The annual banquet was held just six days before the Feb. 1 beginning of spring football practice.

Also recognized were the football cheerleaders, the football team’s 13 seniors, four permanent captains the scholar/athletes who averaged 90 or better in their classwork and the 12 Packers football academic award winners.

The Boar Hog Award, presented by the Friedlander family to the player who exemplifies “Packer spirit on the defensive side of the football” went to senior linebacker Michael Murray.

The award was presented by Kirk Friedlander.

The Horkan Sportsmanship Award, presented by Frank Horkan and George Horkan III in honor of their father and grandfather, went to senior receiver/defensive back Jeremy DeBruce.

The Charlie Pippin Unsung Hero Award, presented by Pippin’s former Packer teammate Brooks Sheldon, went to Sam Heath.

And the Knuck McCrary Fighting Spirit Award, honoring “the ultimate team offensive player” was presented by McCrary’s son Pat McCrary to junior All-Region and All-State running back Orion Ponder.

One new permanent award presented for the first time this year honors the top special teams player and went to junior return man Vance Cuff.

The new Rocky Jones Packer Strong Man Award was given for the first time to running back/defensive lineman Kelvin Watts, who has set two school records in weightlifting.

The award is named for former Packer and longtime booster Rocky Jones, who died last March at age 42 of a heart attack.

Athletic director Darius Dawson, who stepped down as linebackers coach after the 2005 season, in which the Packers went 6-6 and won the school’s first playoff game since 1999, introduced the team’s seniors.

“I think this group has started the ball rolling,” said Dawson, who will stay on to work on the ninth-grade staff. “They have done a lot toward getting this program back to where it needs to be.”

The seniors honored were Josh Brown, Jeremy DeBruce, Sam Heath, Kelvin Watts, Michael Murray, Marcus Robinson, Kenneth Chafin, Reggie Mathis, D.J. Johnson, Bart Sims, Tyler Brooks, Ashondi Magwood and Chris Merritt.

Four of those seniors — Brooks, Heath, Murray and DeBruce — were named permanent captains.

The Packers eight All-Region 1-AAAAA selections were recognized. They are Orion Ponder, Tyler Brooks, Josh Brown, Vance Cuff, Matt DeMott, Channing Hudson, Javaris Jackson and Dontrell Johnson. Ponder and Johnson were named for being named to the All-State team.

Colquitt County High athletic academic adviser Keith Croft announced the team’s top scholar/athletes, all of whom averaged a 90 or better in their school work.

Those players, from grades 9-12, are Stephen Adcock, Kendrick Blackwell, Judd Cato, Cameron Fitzgerald, John Michael Harrison, Sam Heath, Reggie Lawson, Donovan McGowan, Tyler Mobley and Michael Murray.

Cokely noted that of the 127 players currently on the grades 9-12 roster, 99.2 percent are academically eligible for spring practice.

Cokely also started a new tradition this year of honoring academic achievement with decals to be worn on helmets.

The decals are earned not by just by high grades, but by other criteria rewarding school work.

The top 12 academic performers for the 2005 season were Ty Barnett, Vance Cuff, Jeremy DeBruce, Anthony Downs, Sam Heath, Derek Illian, Reggie Lawson, Tyler Mobley, Michael Murray, Kamari Peterson, Orion Ponder and Justin Walker.

Colquitt County assistant cheerleader coach Andrea Myers introduced the 2005 football squad, including seniors Anne Yearta, Benta Brown and Tiffany Williams.

Cokely also praised the work done by the ninth-grade staff and team, which posted a 3-2-1 record after losing its first two games. And he noted that he hoped to have a separate B-team coaching staff in place by August to put more emphasis on developing the program’s sophomores.

The first-year Packers coach also said he was pleased with the strides made by the middle school teams last season. He also said that in 2007, C.A. Gray Middle School and Willie J. Williams Middle School will each have its own separate football team.

Cokely said he currently has 140 names on the roster of players.

The annual football banquet is sponsored by the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis and Packers Booster clubs.

React to this story:


Recommended for you