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Lion football honored at 2008 awards banquet

Ennis celebrates its 11-2 playoff squad in KC Hall
The 2008 Ennis Lions were one of the football program’s best teams in recent years, and certainly deserving of some recognition for the players’ achievements.
On Thursday night in the Knights of Columbus Hall, the Ennis Lionbackers Football Booster Club hosted the 2008 Football Awards Banquet. Lionbacker president Gary Fincher welcomed the large crowd to the event and Lion senior J.D. Marrow gave the invocation.
After the dinner portion of the event, Fincher introduced the Lionbacker officers that made the evening’s celebration possible: vice president David Morris, secretary Kelly Graham, treasurer Dwayne Betik, reporter Bart Harrison and marketing director Tim Cox.
EHS principal David Averett presented the Academic Awards. Lion seniors Bronson Prachyl, Eric Hill and Marrow each received Academic All-State honors. Prachyl also received the Highest GPA Award for his efforts in the classroom.
When it came time to recognize those who keep the players healthy and fresh on the sidelines, Lion athletic trainers Chad McCune and Krystal Cunningham presented the Student Athletic Trainer of the Year Award to both Skye Woodruff and Jasmine Horton.
Coach Sam Harrell then stepped to the podium for player introductions. After commending the junior varsity players for their efforts, Harrell talked about the season of the 11-2 varsity Lions.
“Football is a great game, but hopefully we taught these players about being men because that’s more important than anything,” he said.
“These guys give up short-term sacrifices to make long-term achievements. We stress the value of character; these players hold a lot of pride in being an Ennis Lion.
“Finishing 11-2 was a great season if these guys learned something from it. We hope to see these seniors in the years to come.”
Harrell introduced the returning lettermen for 2009, and with a number of all-district players coming back the future is indeed bright. The coach then brought each of the seniors up to the front, sharing some anecdotes about each player and noting their on-field accomplishments.
Harrell talked about seniors like Deonte McDade and Micah Kemp who were established coming into the season, as well as those Lions who rose up out of nowhere to shine like Tim Hearne and Xavier Tarrant.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had four seniors to be voted captain [by their peers] every week,” the coach said in regards to the feat accomplished by McDade, Kemp, Prachyl and Miguel Almanza.
Harrell shared some interesting and humorous tales about the seniors, with one about kicker Thomas Deleon being especially noteworthy.
“One day, Thomas came and asked me if he could cook fajitas for the entire team,” Harrell said.
“He fired up the grill during third period and got to work. Instead of eating lunch up at the school that day, all the players just came down to the fieldhouse and Thomas fed them.”

Players receive
special awards
It was obviously a fine season for the Lions, because the Ennis coaches had to bestow awards on two players instead of one in nearly every instance. Keeping with the banquet’s tradition, a video highlight reel of each player was shown after their names were called for a particular award.
Harrell was up first to present the Buster Callaway Coaches Special Award. The recipients were receiver Charles Cox on offense and cornerback Jeremy Smith on defense. Smith was a First-Team All-District Selection.
Coach Tony Castillo presented the Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. The recipients were center Zane Davis and left tackle Micah Kemp. Kemp was a First-Team All-District selection and Davis was a Second Team selection.
Offensive coordinator Brian Rogers presented the Offensive Back of the Year Award. The recipients were quarterback D.J. Betik and receiver Kyle Guinyard.
Betik was a First Team All-District Selection. Guinyard was the 16-4A Offensive MVP and he was also a Second Team All-State selection.
Coach Gary Jessie presented the Defensive Lineman of the Year Award. The recipients were defensive end Justin Piper and defensive tackle Rob Boyd. Boyd was a First Team All-District selection.
Coach Joe Kostiha presented the Defensive Back of the Year Award. Safety Jason Vavra was the recipient of the award and he was a First Team All-District selection in ’08.
Coach Steve Marrow presented the Shawn Mathis Memorial Award. Marrow said the award normally goes to a sophomore as a newcomer of the year honor, but this time it went to first-year varsity player Tim Hearne – a senior running back. Tim was a First Team All-District selection.
Defensive coordinator Paul Willingham was next up to present the Sammy McBrierty Linebacker Memorial Award. Outside linebacker and safety Will Pollan, a Second Team All-District selection, received the award.
Harrell returned to present the Rum Miller American Legion Leadership Award. Right tackle Bronson Prachyl on offense and defensive tackle Miguel Almanza each received the award. Both players were Second Team All-District selections.
Retired EISD Superintendent Harlin Dauphin presented t he night’s final player honor – the Jack Lummus “Fighting Heart” Award. The legendary Lummus was of course the Ennis High grad who went on to play for the New York Giants and then fought for his country in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Lummus was mortally wounded while leading his troops in battle.
“Our coaches don’t coach just to win; they coach a way of life,” Dauphin said.
“Life is more than a game of football. You make citizens out of young men, and we’re proud of that.”
The citizen to earn the night’s greatest honor proved to be receiver Deonte McDade, who received a standing ovation when he went up to accept the Jack Lummus Award from Dauphin.

Lionbackers and
cheerleaders close
the ceremony
Gary Fincher returned to the podium and encouraged the Lion seniors to apply for the Lionbacker Scholarship. Fellow Lionbacker Tim Cox then presented door prizes to some lucky attendees. Several large pictures taken by Ronnie Greer that captured special moments throughout the season were given to Lions including Justin Piper, Tim Hearne, J.D. Marrow, Xavier Tarrant and cheerleader Morgan Price. Some Ennis Lion polo shirts and wooden engraved pens were presented to attendees with winning tickets.
Prior to the Lion cheerleaders closing the festivities by leading the crowd in a rendition of the school song – Maroon and White – cheerleader sponsor Jaime Regas took some time to recognize each one of her varsity cheerleaders. Kaylee Adamcik was named Best All-Around Senior, while Alex Kubin was named Best All-Around Junior.
There were a number of Lion cheerleaders to have earned All-American honors, including Adamcik (four-time), Heather Fincher (four-time), Brittani Zhanel (three-time), Morgan Price (three-time), Kristen Keilers (two-time), Ashley Wilson (two-time) and Annie Henning. Both Ennis mascots, Briana Treadaway and Tia Frazier, received their own All-American honors this past year.
While the 2009 season will be on the horizon before too long, the achievements of the 2008 Lion football team won’t soon be forgotten.

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Posted by on Feb 20 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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