DHS seniors did it their way

Published 11:32 pm Thursday, January 15, 2009

Much has been said regarding the 13 young men who made up the senior class of the 2008 Demopolis High football team. Thursday night at the Civic Center, more than 200 people gathered one more time to honor the accomplishments of those 13 individuals and their teammates during the 2008 season.

“The one thing you can’t ever question is how much they care about their teammates,” an emotional Tom Causey said as he prepared to close out the ceremonies by acknowledging the seniors. “They’re winners. These guys never batted an eye when things were tough. They never got too high when things were good.”

Even though their run toward a state title was halted after a heart-stopping third-round game with Carver, the Class of 2009’s legacy is likely to lie not in its ultimate destination, but rather in its journey.

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“I think their legacy is one of teamwork and what hard work will do,” Causey said of a group that led its team from a 1-4 record to within seconds of a berth in the 5A state semifinals.

Causey credits the collection of players with setting an example and teaching younger teammates how to approach the game.

“This team learned how to practice,” Causey said. “I think that more than anything else is what they left behind.”

The second-year head coach said the group’s achievement in that regard is remarkable considering its years as underclassmen.

“Unbelievable. They’re a great group of guys. I think they had been a group that their first couple of years they had a group ahead of them that made it to where they didn’t have to do a lot,” Causey said.

The Tigers’ head man said the seniors came into their own and learned to lead the team in their own way.

“I hope that the character they had this year, that it continues with them as well as our teams in the future,” Causey said.

The DHS coaching staff presented each member of the 2008 football team with certificates before naming its honorees for the season.

The team’s captains were Jacob Kerby, Greg Irvin, Rick Boone and Trey Oates.

Freshman James Wilson earned the Scout Team Player of the Year Award. Junior Anthony Hardy garnered Most Improved honors. Oates received designation as the team’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. Junior Tremaine Sanders took hom e the Defensive Lineman of the Year trophy. Sophomore Rusty Palmer toted the Good Tiger Award, an honor named after Albert Thomas. Sophomore DaMarcus James earned Back of the Year recognition. Junior Larry Cobb is the squad’s Special Teams MVP. Irvin, an all-state linebacker, carried the Defensive MVP mantle. Boone took the Offensive MVP while Kerby, who played punter, linebacker and fullback, grabbed the 2008 Most Valuable Player trophy.

The crowd at the Civic Center also took time to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the DHS cheerleading squad, which has two senior members with Hillary Stapp and Anna Katherine Stuedeman.