For more photos of this event by Rick Nation, go here
The players, coaches, parents and fans of the Bryant Hornets football team, the Class 7A State champions for the second year in a row, celebrated the remarkable season and the program on Bryant Hornet Day Wednesday, Feb. 12. Of course, the number 212 represents the extra effort the program requires for success. As the boiling point of water, 212 degrees, powers the steam engine of the proverbial Bryant locomotive.
The highlight of the evening was the distribution of championship rings to the players, coaches and support staff of managers and trainers. Players also received their letters.
As a “team guy”, head coach Buck James expressed his mixed feelings about giving out individual awards but he and emcee Mark Knowles, President of the Hornet Touchdown Club, awarded statewide and team awards, highlighted by the annual Joe Wishard Hornet Warrior Award, named after the late super supporter of Hornet athletics and longtime school board member. Senior Jake Meaders, with his 4.2 GPA and 34 on the ACT, received the award. Wishard’s children Paul and Kassie were on hand to present the award.
Meaders was also an all-State, all-conference performer as the team’s leading receiver. He was named the team’s offensive player of the year.
In other team awards, the Hornets most valuable player award went to record-setting junior quarterback Austin Ledbetter. The Mr. 212 award went to running back Ahmad Adams. The defensive player of the year was senior cornerback Darrick Rose Jr.
Linebacker Cameron Scarlett earned the Unsung Hero award while running back Tanner Anderson picked up the Mr. Hustle award.
Blake Everett was named the offensive scout team player of the year and Gavin Burton won the award for the defensive side.
Linebacker Tristan Sehika was named the special team player of the year while Tanner Wilson was named the outstanding offensive lineman and Austin Bailey the outstanding defensive lineman.
Statewide awards included the Bryant coaching staff earning the Arkansas Football Coaches Award as Staff of the Year. In addition, Hornets’ offensive coordinator Kirk Bock was recognized as the winner of the high school Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the state.
First-team all-State and all-conference members were noted as Rose, Bailey, Meaders, Tanner Wilson, Adams, Ledbetter, safety Tamaurion Wilson and linebacker Catrell Wallace.
Second-team all-State and first-team all-conference offensive players included center Devin Pitts, receiver Tre’Vun Herron and receiver Hayden Schrader. Defensive second-team all-State and first-team all-conference were Daylen Land, Scarlett and defensive linemen Kyle Green and David Shifflet. Special team picks were Sehika, Tayvin Jones and kicker Brock Funk.
All-conference players were receiver Joseph Young, offensive linemen Brooks Edmonson and Will Diggins, defensive lineman Kennedy Miller, safety Austin Schroeder, corner Kyle Knox and Anderson.
Second-team all-conference offensive players were guard Ty Johnson, tackle Reese Dawson, Jason Shifflet and center Jack Powell, along with H back Miles Aldridge. Defensive picks were defensive backs Kaleb Knox and LaQuav Brumfeld and defensive linemen Rodricho Martin and Andy Scott. Special team players were Koby Melton, Hart Penfield and Braydon Godwin.
The coaches also renewed the annual 12th Man award, given to a supporter that goes above and beyond expectations. Ginger Schrader was the recipient.
The banquet was held at the new Bryant High School cafeteria and drew a large crowd. Catering was supplied by Gina’s Catering.
The event also featured a 23-minute highlight video of the season produced by Fab44 TV.