Stars shine on gridiron

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015









It was a strong and successful football season for several Covington County teams that was capped off with players from Opp and Andalusia being named to 2015 ASWA All-State teams.

For Andalusia, workhorse running back Jamal Hourel was named as the first-team running back for the 4A roster.

“It feels pretty good,” Hourel said of being named to the All-State roster. “I congratulated all the other guys who made, and it feels good to be on the team with them but I’m still thinking about that state championship.”

The junior Hourel led the state with 2,396 rushing yards, which also set an Andalusia High School and Covington County record for yards in a season. Hourel also paced the Bulldog offense with a staggering 35 rushing touchdowns.

“My sophomore year we went 5-5 and we didn’t really have a good season, and I felt like I had something to prove this year,” Hourel said. “I had to prove to myself that I can be the best running back in the state, and I had to put myself out there and play my hardest and my best. My teammates pushed me every single day, so I had no choice but to get better every day.”

Even after the strong season and post-season accolades, Hourel isn’t going to get complacent with where he is.

“I’ve been working out and doing speed drills since the season ended,” Hourel said. “I’m doing a lot of speed drills to get my speed up. They can catch me in the weight room on Monday and Tuesday, and then Thursday and Friday it’s speed drills.”

On the Class 3A side, Opp’s Devontae Williams picked up first-team honors on the defensive line for his strong season efforts. Reggie Thompson picked up a spot as second-team wide receiver and Orlando Lacey was the second-team athlete of the year.

Williams led the Bobcats with 136 tackles on the season and also recorded four sacks.

“At first it really surprised me because I wasn’t really expecting it, but overall it’s a real blessing,” Williams said. “It’s a blessing to get that kind of exposure. With academics, football and basketball, I have options that a lot of other kids don’t have, and I know that I am blessed.”

As for his personal success this season, Williams said that is all because of God, his coaches and teammates.

“God, my coaches and teammates are the reason that I was able to be in this position,” Williams said. “I want to thank the guys on the scout team that never get any recognition. They are the ones that push me in practice each day, and my coaches are always there for me.”

Williams said that if it weren’t for his position coach, Ronnie Moseley, he might not have even played this year.

“I almost didn’t play football this year,” Williams. “I probably wouldn’t have played if Coach Moseley hadn’t come talk to me. He has always been there for me, even before I was playing football. It’s not always about football, he is there for me for anything.”

Williams said that his biggest motivation comes from God, and how his parents reared him.

“It’s because of God,” Williams said. “Without him, I would have never been in the position that I am. If you put him first and live for him, none of that other stuff matters, and everything falls into place. That all goes back to how my parents raised me. They raised me in a strong Christian environment around Christian people who showed me how to live my life. My parents have worked harder to give me everything that I need and want, and I’ve never seen anyone that works as hard as them. That’s where my motivation really comes from.”

Thompson had 32 catches and led the Bobcats with 484 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

The dual-threat Lacey rushed for 1,006 yards and eight touchdowns and also threw for 1,429 yards and 15 touchdowns.