Atkins receives “Impact Player of Week” award through special delivery

Former Jonesboro-Hodge head football coach Joey Pender has long been gone from the JHHS locker room. Yet the pride he feels when a player, where Pender won more games than any other coach in school history, does something exceptional. 

As result the former Tiger coach, turned media personality, came back to JHHS to hand deliver the “Impact Player of the Week” award that was earned by sophomore linebacker Xavier Atkins for his play in the second round of the Class AA playoffs. 

“Once a Tiger, always a Tiger,” said Pender, who is a member of the K104 Friday Night Football Show who hands out the weekly award to a top gridiron performer in northeast Louisiana. “I wanted to hand this to him personally to let him know how proud I was for the way he was representing Jonesboro-Hodge through his play.” 

For Pender to bring the award himself meant a lot to not only Atkins, who leads the state in total tackles and solo tackles and is also 8th in the nation in tackles and 4th in solo stops, but to current Tiger head coach Terrance Blankenship, who played under Pender. 

“For coach to take the time out of his busy schedule means a lot to me and Xavier,| said Blankenship. “He is the one who taught me what “Tiger Pride” meant and still goes out of his way to show the guys today what it means to always be a Tiger.”

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