It is in the most important stretches of a season that you see true playmakers emerge. While football is undoubtedly a team sport, more times than not it takes a single individual, a leader if you will, to show his teammates the way. KDMC’s goal this football season has been to recognize these young men leading their comrades into battle each gameday. This week is no different as we are proud to recognize two standout athletes for their fantastic performances this past Friday night.
Offensive Player of the Week
This week’s offensive selection of the week comes from Brookhaven High School senior WR, Ross Hill. While his teammate Greg Sims, who is a former KDMC Player of the Week award winner, played great, it was Hill that caught our eye this past weekend. The electric WR reeled in 4 catches for 107 yards, including a 78-yard TD, which proved to be the final blow in the contest. Big plays are the norm for Hill, as he has shown his consistency as a playmaker all season for the Panthers. So far this season, Hill has 17 receptions for 428 yards and 7 TDs. He is averaging 25.18 yards per catch, and has scored in every game this season but one, including 2 multiple TD games. His performance helped the Panthers get a tough victory as they battled a gritty West Jones team to a nail-biter, winning 21-20 over the Mustangs. This win improves the Panthers’ record to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in the region, and ranked 2nd in the 5A prep poll. Hill and BHS look to continue their stellar play at home this Friday as they host 5-2 Pearl High School. This will be a big challenge for the Panthers, but with another contribution like this one from Hill, BHS will be tough to bring down.
Defensive Player of the Week
More times than not here at KDMC, we have a hard time deciding between all the great performances that are given each Friday night. However, it is rare that we have that problem coming from the same team. This is one of the times. While this week’s Defensive Player of the Week is given to BA’s senior DE, Bailey Hodge, it could have easily been given to three more of his teammates. He is the second repeat-winner of the season, and after Friday’s performance, rightfully so. The Cougars found themselves in a dogfight at halftime down 14-13 to Bowling Green High School. However, after a great defensive adjustment at the break, the BA defense would not allow another point. The Cougars went on to best the Buccaneers by a total of 35-14. Hodge led the way for the defense with 16 tackles, while teammates Jeff Rushing, Bubba Keene, and Eli Gatlin each tallied a solid 13 tackles each. I don’t know if I need to state the obvious, but I’m going to anyway – that is an overwhelming statistic. Anytime there are four players on a defense with 16, 13, 13 and 13 tackles in one game, it’s going to turn out good for their team. Coach Tripp McCarty has to be excited about these players’ intensity, and more importantly, execution, on the field. Most coaches will tell you that they know their players will make mistakes and blow assignments on defense, but that the key is to make aggressive mistakes, fly to the football, and finish tackles. This win improves BA’s record to 6-2, a mark they look to improve on as they travel to Columbia, MS to take on the 2-6 Columbia Academy Cougars this Friday.
Congratulations from KDMC to all the players recognized for their statistical feats this past weekend. We look forward to seeing more eye-popping performances this upcoming Friday as football season starts down the home stretch for the regular season. Be sure to check out www.kdmc.org next Monday to see which two young men will be selected for showing off their skills on the ball field.