Last night we all came together one last time to honor our 2017 football teams. It was a fun night that began with a great meal provided by Trey Jordan '83 and Pimento's. While everyone ate we watched some of this year's highlights. After the Invocation by Captian Bobby Wade, Mr. Sanders opened the evening with a special message.
Coach Ray introduced our Cheer sponsor Becca Keel to recognize the 2017 football cheerleaders. Captains John Bolton, Joe Carter, and Buchanan Dunavant presented flowers and gifts to this group of girls who did an outstanding job all season.
Coach Alston then provided a brief review of the season followed by all position coaches recognizing their group. This is a fun time for all of the coaches to say thanks to all the boys but especially the seniors for their efforts this year.
Coach Alston then presented awards to several members of the team. Captains John Bolton, Joe Carter, Buchanan Dunavnt, and Bobby Wade received memorial footballs recognizing them for their efforts as our team leaders. Position Awards which are determined by our Player Productivity Scale were presented to the following: DEFENSIVE LINE: Joe Carter LINEBAKCER: Buchanan Dunavant D-BACK: Maurice Hampton OFF LINE: Stephen Christenbury OFF BACK: Bobby Wade OFF RECEIVER: Maurice Hampton SPECIALIST: Trey Thomas
The Steve Minken "Headhunter Award" honoring the palyer that led the team in tackles went to Buchanan Dunavant.
The players voted on the winners to the following awards. "DO RIGHT" Award presented by Trey Jordan and Holiday Ham - TREY THOMAS Dan Griffin Spirit Award - Buchanan Dunavant and Bobby Wade W.S. Roberts Most Valuable Player - Buchanan Dunavant and Maurice Hampton
The players the presented the staff and coaches with nice gifts. That was followed by our traditional ending when our seniors are presented their game jerseys and everyone forms one final fan tunnel as we so these guys how much we appreciate all they have done for our team.
As we finsh the 2017 expedition we are all ready making plans for our 2018 journey. We have a great group of guys returning who have learned much this past season. It should be a fun trip!!
The Owls finish the season at 6-6 after a tough loss to the #1 ranked Brentwood Academy Eagles. BA played well from the opening kick-off. They displayed excellent balance on offense and good quickness on the defensive side. I thought our boys fought hard but we did not get the start we needed in either half to put any pressure on them. BA will be a tough team to beat playing like they did on Friday.
MERCURY PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Our offense stuggled to make plays all night but our defense did have some solid moments once again led by the relentless effort of Buchanan Dunavant. We also got a couple of big plays out of Dorian Hopkins who created a fumble that we converted into our only score and also the "hit" of the night on a sack. Those two are our players of the game.
I want to thank the coaches and players for all their efforts this season. It did not go the way we planned but we continued to battle each and every game.
The team came out on Friday and played very well against SBA. This was a game that could have been much tougher as we battled the flu all week even losing two starters right before the game and with several playing sick. But we probably surprised ourselves a little and I think our seniors did a good job of getting everyone back on track for this game.
MERCURY AWARDS: The players of the game this week are Bobby Wade and John Bolton. Bobby had one of his better games at QB making plays with his feet and his arm. John had a really good game and capped it with an interception return for a TD. Nice job guys.
We do not single out a Buzzard Player of the Week during the play-offs but I thought our scout guys all did a great job this past week of helping us prepare. This will also be critical in the coming weeks.
What a great opportunity we have this week to travel to Brentwood Academy and play the #1 ranked team in the state. I know that some people would look at it and think this is an impossible task but regardless of how things went during the regular season this is the team we would have to play to win it all. I am confident our boys will give it their all as they have all season and if we can avoid some of the crazy things that have happened this year we can win!! It is time for the ball to bounce our way in one of these games. GO OWLS
Congrats are in order for our 8th grade players and coaches for a dominating win last night in the league championship game vs Houston. This group has been fun to watch all year and they certainly battled last night. They represented the school very well.
Coach Wade's Game Report:
The 8th grade Owls defended their league title last night by defeating the Houston Mustangs for the third time this season. The Owls executed in all 3 phases of the game. (Offense, Defense,and Special teams) This was a true Team victory.
Quarterback, George Hamsley, did a great job executing the offense against a tough Houston defense, and Colby Ring had a successful night running the ball behind fullback(lead blocker)McRae Dickenson and the strong blocking of Shell, Yarbro, Weeks, Nearn, Shoaf and Herring.
Thanks goes out to coaches Jack Steffner and Ben Still who help run the offense. Coach Still brought us a new play (pass- wheel route to Colby Ring) about 10 days ago and we have used the play to score a td vs Lausanne, and it was the explosive play in last nights game. Coach Steffner has been helping me for years by trying to get our best players at the point of attack.
Thanks to smart, assignment football and relentless, team pursuit the defense pitched its fourth shutout of the year. The defensive line (Nearn, Herring, Hamsley and Wilkinson) controlled the line of scrimmage. The linebackers (Ring, Dickenson, Owen and Shoaf) made tackles and stopped the run. The secondary (Allen, Barnes, and Jinks) shut down the Houston passing game. Thanks goes out to coaches Ben Stallworth and Henry Dickenson for their efforts with the defense. Our entire staff works to develop the defensive game plan and these 2 guys make sure it happens on game night.
Let's just say special teams were Special. Coach Trevor Bennitone has done a good job all year of helping coordinate our special teams.
Last night was great. The Owls recovered 2 onside kicks which were perfectly executed by kicker Will Jenks and the kick off team. Our punt team changed field position by executing a great punt (Shoaf) and recovery inside the 10 yard line. Punt return -Hunter Barnes did a super job of fielding punts and returning them for good yardage. Punt block- Ring didn't block it, but he created huge pressure which helped cause a poor kick.
Even with only twenty-one players on the team, this 8th grade squad was able to work hard, have fun, and bring another championship back to the Hull Lower School.
Sorry, I almost forgot Coach Heathcott. Coach Heathcott has helped us for many years. He is great with the kids. He truly loves middle school boys.
Losing a hard fought game to your rival is never an easy pill to swallow. Congrats to the CBHS on a well played game. They kept their mistakes to a minimum and executed well in all phases of the game. Our boys battled the entire night and I was proud of our physical effort as I have been all season. But sadly our self inflicted wounds physical and mental kept us from playing well enough to win. Yet we will press on.
Buzzard Player of the Week: The final Buzzard award of the season goes to AJ Varner. AJ is a senior running back who regularly works on the scout team. Thanks to all of our scout team guys for doing a good job all season.
Mercury Players of the Game: Our defense played as well as it has all season against a very good group from CBHS and held them to 200 yards of total offense. The effort from the entire group was excellent but was led by 3 of our linebackers who each had over a dozen tackles. When these 3 guys all play like they did on Friday our defense is very good. The awards go to Buchanan Dunavant, Dorian Hopkins, and Matthew Rhodes.
THE NEW SEASON: We begin the new season this week hosting St. Benedict on Friday at 7pm. SBA is coming off a solid performance against Briarcrest and they have some very dangerous offensive play-makers. We will not do well if we expect this to be easy. But I still believe that this team hitting on all cylinders can play and beat anyone we line up against. GO OWLS.