Celebrating the success of this past season, Jonesboro-Hodge held their annual football banquet this past Thursday evening at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro.
Highlighting the evening was an inspirational message delivered by Dr. Trayvean Scott, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics at Grambling State University. Dr. Scott graciously stepped in when scheduled guest speaker, former NFL and current GSU head football coach Hue Jackson, was called away at the last minute.
Speaking to an intently listening group of players and the overflow crowd in attendance, Dr. Scott relayed his experiences while as a high school and collegiate athlete and offered his wisdom gained from his distinguished career as an athletic administrator.
“Athletics to a school is similar to what a front porch is to a house,” analogized Scott. “From the outside a porch is the most visible thing that is seen but not the most important part of the construction. For a school, the sports program is what people look at but it’s top priority is the education of the students and for an athlete, sports bring rewards but nothing like the reward you will reap completing your education.”
Scott further explained the importance that competing in athletics plays in the development of a person.
“Sports teaches lessons that help you become productive adults,” reflected Scott. “You learn things like how to manage your time, learning to be humble, honest, loyal and to serve something greater than yourself.”
In closing Scott implored the players to “Never lose sight of your dreams and what you want to accomplish.”
Following was the presentation of awards beginning with Touchdown Club president Leroy Blow and Vice President David Belton giving the “Up and Coming” award to freshman, Christian McGuire and sophomore, Braylon Leonard.
JHHS head football coach and athletic director Terrance Blankenship then introduced to the crowd the players by class and presented awards as voted on by the JHHS coaching staff to the following recipients.
Sportsmanship Award – Chase Leonard
Newcomer of the Year – Zion Gray
Most Improved – Javeon Andrews
Defensive Player of the Year – Xavier Atkins
Offensive Player of the Year – Tydre Malone
Team Spirit Award – Javious Holden (posthumously awarded to family)
Team Leader Award – LaJavion Nichols (posthumously awarded to family)
Those elected to All district, All state, All-Region and All-Star bowl games were then recognized leading up to LaTonya Moss, President of the Football Booster Club offering her appreciation to the members and all those who assisted in helping make the 2021-22 football season a memorable success.
Mr. James Bradford followed by offering sincere thanks and appreciation to the individual, organizations and businesses who helped sponsor the gala event. Those included: Randy Ewing, Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Jack McFarland Campaign, Jay Mallard Ford, Pardue Builders Supply, Jonesboro State Bank, Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Agency, James E. Bradford, Miriam’s Furniture, Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church, Menzina Properties LLC, Attorney Yumeaka Washington, Jackson Parish Hospital, Todd Culpepper, Paradise Funeral Home, Family Pharmacy, Protective Agency Inc., Dodson Enterprises Inc., Traina’s Bakery and Grocery, Mitchell’s Pharmacy, Shawn Murphy Insurance, Bethany Baptist Church, Hodge Bank, Gerry Mims, Attorney Darrell Avery, Barksdale Federal Credit Union and Jackson Parish Bank.
The event concluded with JHHS Principal Chevonda Leonard leading the crowd in the singing of the Alma Mater.