This week marks the first week of the high school football season that there will be three recipients of the KDMC Players of the Week award. After an exciting week of football, we decided there were just too many good performances this weekend to narrow it down to two. However, any true football fan will tell you, that’s an exciting problem to have. This week we look at three young men that shined above the others on the gridiron.
Offensive Player of the Week
This week we chose two running backs for the Offensive Player of the Week award. The first athlete is Garrett Rushing from West Lincoln High School. Rushing is a senior and plays tailback as well as linebacker on defense. This week the West Lincoln Bears ended their 21 game losing streak by defeating the Sacred Heart Crusaders 26-6. While football is a team sport, the victory was greatly influenced by the play of Rushing. The guy was running well, and the coaches kept him busy. Rushing had 191 yards on the ground on 35 carries, averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. Ask any coach in the world, and they’ll tell you that when a running back is averaging 5 yards a carry, things are going pretty well. If he continues to play like this, you can be guaranteed to see his name winning this award again. Rushing is now the second player of the season from West Lincoln to be recognized as a Player of the Week, as Jeremy Laird won last week’s defensive honors. The Bears look to continue their new winning streak this Friday against the Mt. Hermon Yellowjackets.
The second half of the Offensive Player of the Week award features a standout performance from another running back, Josh Butler. Butler is a senior at Loyd Star High School and plays running back and linebacker on defense. After starting the season 0-3 this past weekend, the Hornets went to battle looking for their first win of the season against Richton High School. Thanks in part to a dominant rushing attack from Butler, the Hornets stung the Rebels 21-20 in a thriller. Butler rushed for 102 yards on just 16 carries, averaging a monster 6.3 yards per carry. Certified ATC athletic trainer for KDMC, Beau Jenkins, had this to say about Butler’s performance: “Josh ran the ball hard. He picked up the tough yards in short yardage situations. He also showed his speed breaking a long touchdown run the first play of the game.” Butler showed he didn’t need a ton of touches to make a difference in the ground game, and any time that is the case, it’s always preferable. If Butler and the Hornets can keep this momentum going, they will be looking at a winning season before you know it. Loyd Star faces off against North Pike this Friday night.
Defensive Player of the Week
This week’s Defensive Player of the Week goes to Brookhaven Academy’s senior DE, Bailey Hodge. Hodge’s performance against Parklane Academy on Friday night was nothing short of spectacular. The Cougars relied on their defense throughout the game in what proved to be a gritty, low-scoring affair. BA edged out the class 3-A Pioneers 16-12, thanks in a large part to a vital fumble recovery by Hodge. Along with the big fumble recovery, Hodge also registered 14 tackles with several of them going for a loss. It is hard for those who have never played the beautiful game of football to truly understand how difficult it is to make 14 tackles in one game. That alone could earn him Defensive Player of the Week. Double-digit tackle games are nothing new to Hodge, however. During his junior campaign, he averaged 10.8 tackles per game with 151 total tackles and 1 interception. Needless to say after this game, he has picked up where left off last season. BA and Hodge look to build off of this win on Friday as they take on Wayne Academy.
Congratulations from KDMC to all three players on fantastic games this past weekend. We wish you the best of luck throughout the rest of the season and hope to see your names again as a Player of the Week. Be sure to go to www.kdmc.org next Monday to see who were this Friday’s top-tier performers.