Cougars’ Drury named AISA Back of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Southern Academy’s Wallace Drury made it two Player of the Year awards in two years for the Cougars when he was recently named the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s AISA Back of the Year.

Following in the footsteps of Southern’s Wes Davis, named the AISA’s Linemen of the Year after the 2004 season, Drury was honored at an ASWA luncheon in Birmingham last week. The senior rushed for a record 3,183 yards, the highest total for any back, AISA or AHSAA, in state prep football history. Drury also scored a record 339 points on 54 touchdowns and 15 points-after.

“I think he’s the best running back in the state,” Southern head coach Shaun Bonds said after the Cougars had defeated Autauga Academy 55-22 for the Cougars’ second straight state AISA Class A title. Drury went out with a bang in his final game as a Cougar, rushing 49 times for 417 yards and eight touchdowns.

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“What do you say about him?” Bonds said. “Every snap we gave him he got better. His vision got better, his balance got better, his cutting got better all the way to the last snap of the year.”

Drury’s contributions went beyond just his rushing totals, however. The senior started in the secondary for the Cougars’ often-dominant defense, kicked a handful of extra points, threw and caught passes when needed, and returned both punts and kickoffs for the Southern special teams. Drury racked up 501 all-purpose yards in a 45-13 win over Pickens Oct. 28.

For his part, Drury, who has called the experience of winning back-to-back titles “awesome,” has deflected the credit for his success to his teammates and offensive line.

“I wouldn’t get anything if it wasn’t for them,” he said during the season.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Drury’s amazing season is that, with the Southern coaching staff initially planning to start him at quarterback, he wasn’t even practicing at running back until just before the season began. But once he found his groove, Drury was able to ran all the way to one of the highest honors in the state.

“It was something new every Friday night,” Bonds said.