DHS players rack up on post-season honors

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2004

It’s been a memorable year for the Demopolis High School Tigers football team and though that empty spot in the DHS trophy case still waits for it’s 4A state championship trophy, it’s great to see many of the DHS players being honored for their outstanding athletic performance this season.

This week as many as nine DHS players were honored with various awards from Alabama newspapers such as the Tuscaloosa News, Birmingham News and the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Among the chosen few were DHS junior quarterback Devin Goodwin, senior offensive lineman Gerard Jackson, junior wide receiver Bart Pettus, senior tight end Michael Lee, senior defensive lineman Ray Williams, junior linebackers Seth Basinger and Ezell Braxton, junior defensive lineman Jacob Smelly, and sophomore defensive back Dontrell Miller.

For DHS Tigers head coach Doug Goodwin, having these players honored for their accomplishments is a proud moment, but it’s hard to see so few receiving recognition when all deserve it.

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Gaining recognition in the state of Alabama doesn’t come easy and for a team like DHS it’s an even harder task. But after having two back-to-back 13-1 seasons the Tigers have finally made a name for themselves and this year the names of many DHS players were placed amongst the best in the state.

DHS quarterback Devin Goodwin was recently named the Birmingham News Class 4A All-State athlete and quarterback for the Tuscaloosa News West Alabama 4A-6A Super 11 football team. The junior quarterback threw for 1,992 yards this season for 22 touchdowns. He completed 113-of-229 in the air with 16 interceptions. Goodwin also rushed for five touchdowns this season and collected 82-rushing yards. Defensively Goodwin collected 101 tackles at his free safety position and was a dominant secondary force for the Tigers.

He had four pass deflections and one fumble recovery, while picking off three interceptions. Goodwin also had a great deal of success with his leg this season and recorded a 39-yard punting average with his longest being 58 yards. He was 40-of-52 in PAT’s for a 77 percent average and was 3-of-4 in field goals.

Along with Goodwin, DHS offensive players Pettus, Lee and Jackson also made the Tuscaloosa News West Alabama 4A-6A Super 11 team for their offensive performances this season with Williams, Basinger, Miller, Smelly and Braxton making the 4A-6A Super 11 team on the defensive side of the ball. And even head coach Doug Goodwin managed to receive an honor himself this week as he was named the Coach of the Year for the Tuscaloosa News West Alabama 4A-6A team.

But perhaps one of the biggest surprises this week came for DHS sophomore defensive back Dontrell Miller when he made the 2003 Class 4A ASWA All-State football team.

At his strong safety position, Miller collected 119 tackles, two sacks, four pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions for two defensive touchdowns and caused five fumbles this season.

He is considered one of the best in the secondary and has outstanding athleticism and speed, but also had a strong offensive performance as well this season. Offensively the young sophomore rushed for 218 yards on 57 carries for three touchdowns and stood in as backup quarterback to Devin Goodwin where he completed 5-of-6 in the air for 63 yards and one touchdown.

Miller was the only DHS player to be selected by the ASWA and one of three sophomores selected in Class 4A.

And at 5’8" 155 pounds he is the definitely the smallest defensive player on the 4A team, but it’s not the size of the package that matters.

This was a truly great year the for the Tigers and with so much young talent being recognized at the state level DHS fans can only expect to see more of the same in the near future.