Tigers recognized for #8220Bringing it back#8221;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2007

Following the best season in over a decade, the Greenville High football team held its banquet Thursday night to honor those players and cheerleaders who helped lead this year's team to a 10-3 record and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs.

The guest speaker, Prattville High School defensive coordinator Duwan Walker, got the evening started following dinner and the coach spoke about how the Class 6A Lions were able to win the state championship and what they did to get there.

Walker, who has served on head coach Bill Clark's staff since he first arrived in Prattville eight years ago, listed the priorities of his team, which are God first, family second, education third and athletics last.

And through that philosophy, the Lions were able to upend the defending champion Hoover Bucs.

Walker said the situation in Greenville is much like it was when he first arrived in Prattville and for the winning to continue in Greenville, the families and community must get behind the coaching staff and football team 100 percent.

&#8220It all starts at home,” Walker said.

Whether it is getting everybody involved or building an on-campus stadium, Walker knows it will not be easy.

&#8220But let's make it happen,” Walker said.

And he should know that succeeding isn't easy.

Walker came from a single-parent home of five and went on to graduate from Troy.

This season, before the Lions' quarterfinal game, Prattville assistant coach Lorenzo &#8220Lo” Pickett died after collapsing at the school's fieldhouse.

But through adversity, Walker and the Lions' found solace and comfort by just following their four priorities.

After Walker spoke to crowd, Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent echoed Walkers words with a phrase his players have come accustomed to hearing.

&#8220Tough time don't last, tough people do,” Vincent said as his players collectively finished his sentence.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon spoke to audience next and presented school principal Kathy Murphy with a proclamation from the city that allows her to &#8220smirk” at anyone who said she made the wrong hire when she first hired Vincent.

Following his presentation, McLendon also made a bold promise to the Tigers.

&#8220We're going to build them an athletic facility,” McLendon said. &#8220Anybody that works as hard as these guys deserve the best.”

The awards were presented next and Vincent surprised the outgoing seniors by giving them their jerseys. The seniors were also presented a plaque featuring the team picture and game-by-game results.

Individually, Lynn Lewis took home the team's Most Valuable Player award.

A new award was also presented Thursday as Vincent debuted the Rodney Bush Award.

Bush, a Tiger Pride booster, helped Vincent, his staff and team throughout the season with whatever needed done and did so on his own accord.

&#8220This award will go to the player that demonstrates the same commitment, work ethic and dependability that Rodney does,” Vincent said.

The first Rodney Bush Award was given to Michael Johnson and Vincent noted the determination Johnson showed by not missing a practice, even after suffering injuries in a car accident.

On the offensive side of the ball, Pat Peagler was named as the Most Valuable Offensive Lineman, Brandon &#8220The Diesel” Cheatham was named as the Most Valuable Offensive Back, Tremaine Brewer was named as the Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Player and Most Valuable Special Teams Player, Lewis was named as the Most Valuable Wideout and Zac Smith was given the Offensive Coaches Award.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jamontay Pilson was named as the Most Valuable Defensive Lineman, Marcus Mickles was named as the Most Valuable Defensive Back, Kenneth Carter was named as the Most Valuable Defensive Scout Team Player, Kelcius Pate was named as the Most Valuable Linebacker and William Thomas was given the Defensive Coaches Award.

Pat Peagler, Cheatham and Pate were also named as captains of this year's team.

Following the award presentations, a 15-minute clip of the season-long documentary Vincent had made was shown.

The video will be available for purchase in several weeks.