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McKENZIE (January 9) — The McKenzie Rebels celebrated a successful high school football season with a banquet Thursday in the MHS cafeteria.Principal Kelly Spivey welcomed everyone, then senior …
McKENZIE (January 9) — The McKenzie Rebels celebrated a successful high school football season with a banquet Thursday in the MHS cafeteria.
Principal Kelly Spivey welcomed everyone, then senior Evan Jarrett delivered a blessing before a delicious meal catered by Big Daddy’s BBQ.
As everyone finished dessert, Spivey introduced cheer sponsor Lauren Flannery, who thanked supporters and said that her cheerleaders were “hard workers” who “really enjoyed cheering on the team.” She then recognized each cheerleader individually.
Head Coach Wade Comer then took the podium and said that it was “a special night for the seniors and the 2019 team.” He said he was very proud of their accomplishments, leadership, work ethic and teamwork and proud that they got the team back into the playoffs after missing the previous two seasons and advanced to the second round. On display was the legacy banner reading “2019 State Playoffs, 2nd Round” which will hang in the stadium. He called the seniors “a special group” and lauded the team for heading back in the right direction.
He said he was proud of the way the underclassmen responded to the pressure and demands. He advised them to look forward and not be satisfied and said, “They have big shoes to fill, but I expect them to be able to step up.”
He thanked all of those behind the scenes, noting that it takes a whole community to have a successful program. He offered appreciation to the Touchdown Club, Michelle and Van Vinson, Mark Anderson, Wayne Christian and the chain gang, drone operator Chad Brown, public announcer Larry Joe Smith, the cheerleaders, the band, the McKenzie Maniacs, the bus drivers, Jon Davis and Craig Lunn, athletic trainer Rob Eldredge, Baptist Ambulance Service, the newspapers, Jim Steele, the junior high coaches, Principal Spivey, the board of education and the coaches’ wives.
He introduced and thanked assistant coaches Randy Thomas, Chris Wall, Kentrell Diggs, Alex Hayes and Jerry Hayes.
Next, Coach Comer recognized each player and manager, and the other coaches presented them with a team photo and a certificate. Each player who played in at least half of the quarters during the season was announced as a letterman.
He lauded the freshmen, noting that as many started games this year (five) as had in the previous 24 years he’s coached at McKenzie. He complimented their mental capabilities and their willingness to show up every day.
Comer announced that senior Witt Mitchum was named to the Tennessee High School Football Coaches Association Class 2A All-State Team and noted that he has signed to play for Division I school Kansas State University.
Then, players were recognized who were named to the All-Region 7-2A team: Micah Austin, Chris Barnett, Logan Lyles, Kyle Maxwell and Witt Mitchum. Earning All-Region Honorable Mention were Evan Jarrett, Eli Surber, Will Latimer and Jordan Woods.
Next, the coaches presented individual awards:
Most Valuable Offensive Back — Micah Austin
Most Valuable Offensive Lineman — Kyle Maxwell
Most Valuable Defensive Lineman — Chris Barnett and Witt Mitchum
Most Valuable Linebacker — Logan Lyles
Most Valuable Defensive Back — Kaden Allen
Most Improved — Trey Cook
Mr. Rebel (MVP) — Evan Jarrett and Kyle Maxwell
Team Captains — Evan Jarrett and Kyle Maxwell
David Long Academic Awards — Evan Jarrett (Highest GPA, 3.93), West Cook, Kinley Millsap and Kyle Maxwell
Jeff Givens Sportsmanship Award — West Cook and Jeremiah Moore
Phillip Carter Most Inspired Award — Jordan Woods
Howard Nolen Team First Award — Eli Surber
Kermit Holland 3D (Discipline, Dedication, Determination) Award — Kyle Maxwell
Finally, Touchdown Club President Dustie Graves spoke, thanking the parent and officers and presenting gifts to the middle and high school coaches. He also presented a gift to Michelle Vinson, who, with her husband, Van, has painted the field for many years. She received a standing ovation from the banquet attendees.
In closing, Graves told the seniors to remember that “the next few years will determine the rest of your life.”
Each senior player, cheerleader and manager received a keepsake football and another gift from the boosters.
The event ended, but guests lingered to take photos and reminisce on the season.
The 2019 Rebels were: seniors Micah Austin, Jordan Barnhart, West Cook, Evan Jarrett, Kyle Maxwell, Witt Mitchum and Jeremiah Moore; juniors Kaden Allen, Chris Barnett, Ryan Christian, Will Latimer, Logan Lyles, Eli Surber and Jordan Woods; sophomores Levin Adrom, Wes Bynum, Trey Cook, Brandon Hatley, Hayden Hudson, Gage Moon and Chuck Potts; and freshmen Zach Aird, Ty Anderson, Jackson Cassidy, David Cheney, Elijah Edmonson, Matthew Garriott, Hunter Johnson, Daniel Latimer, Jose Luna, Rashad McCreary, Bryson Steele, Marquez Taylor and Etijay Tharpe.
Managers were Carrie Becker, Kayla Gilbert, Meya Chesser and Claire Price. Video crew were Keira Hones and Kinley Millsap. Ball boy was Kadarius Cunningham.