As he accepted the Legends Award, former Estacado coach Louis Kelley told an audience he hoped to win another honor in the future, not to be greedy.
“Bobby Davis told me, ‘When you get the ‘Legends Award,’ it’s all over. You’re not going to get anymore,” Kelley said, referring to a tip from his coaching colleague from Frenship.
Honorees from both ends of the spectrum were recognized during the Texas Tech Chapter National Football Foundation scholar-athlete banquet Wednesday night at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.
Tech hosted the annual event to pay tribute to amateur football, shine a spotlight on the area’s top high school scholar-athletes and recognize career achievements.
The prep scholar-athlete recipients came from 17 schools in the Lubbock area. Those honorees
included Ty Lust, Abernathy; Guillermo Esparza, Andrews; Greg Hewett, Coronado; Malik Williams, Estacado; Kyle Rutherford, Frenship; Garrett Higgins, Hereford; Tylo Kirkpatrick, Idalou; Preston Woodard, Levelland; and Travis Windham, Cooper.
Also, Raleigh Anderson, Lubbock High; Jake Allen, Monterey; Ryan Johnson, Muleshoe; Kyler Bean, New Deal; Dalton Holly, Post; Dexter Longley, Seminole; Kade Willis, Shallowater; and Smith McLelland, Tahoka.
Four of the high school athletes subsequently were recognized with additional awards. Coronado’s Hewett received one of the top honors, the Hellas Construction scholar-athlete scholarship worth $2,000.
Roland Murray, Hellas’ manager of business development, told the audience that aside from being the Mustangs’ football quarterback and baseball catcher, Hewett is tops in his class of 450 and was cited by the coach who nominated him for having “the strongest moral compass” of any player he’d ever had.
Scholarships of $1,000 apiece went to Lubbock High’s Anderson and Cooper’s Windham. Anderson, a National Merit finalist with a 4.76 grade-point average, received the Fuddruckers Scholar Athlete scholarship. Windham, a two-time all-district honoree with a 98.3 grade average, received the Tech Chapter scholarship.
The John Cardinal Award for Excellence, which comes with a $500 scholarship, went to Joey Alexander, a three-sport athlete at Coronado.
Tech’s National Football Foundation chapter conducted awards banquets from 2002 through 2007, then fell dormant for three years before resuming its efforts in 2011.
Two awards that have been staples from the beginning each recognized their seventh recipients Wednesday with former Idalou coach Johnny Taylor receiving the outstanding contribution to amateur football award and Ken Patterson taking the outstanding official award.
Taylor led Idalou to 17 playoff appearances in 22 years, capped by a state championship in 2011. His presenter, Rex Isom, said it spoke volumes that after Taylor retired from coaching, he was elected to the school board.
“I truly was blessed to be in Idalou for that long a time,” Taylor said. “Not many coaches get to stay in somewhere that long. A lot of good things happened there.”
Patterson called games for 44 years before retiring in 2009, when he had a state-championship assignment.
“It’s been a long road from Bruni and Mirando City to a state-championship game,” Patterson told the crowd, “but for 44 years I loved Friday nights on a football field.”
Five awards that were added in 2011 were presented for the third year in a row, one being the Texas Tech scholar-athlete, which went to Cody Davis, a senior safety on the 2012 team. Davis has spent recent weeks preparing for the NFL draft.
“I’ve been doing all these NFL interviews, and this (acceptance speech) is what I’m nervous about,” Davis told the audience.
The assistant coach of the year went to Monterey offensive coordinator Bob Stanley, who helped the Plainsmen to a 9-4 season.
There were two recipients of the coach of the year honor: Brad Davis, who’s led Frenship to a 72-17 record the last seven years, and Kyle Maxfield, whose Shallowater team went 11-1 in 2012.
Former Texas Tech All-American E.J. Holub was named the Distinguished West Texan, following in the footsteps of original winner Spike Dykes and 2012 winner Jess Stiles, both former Tech football coaches.
Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt introduced Holub, telling the crowd he “exemplifies the values we hold dear here in West Texas.”
Holub said he was deeply moved during his playing career when he would visit crippled children and orphanages. As such, he exhorted Wednesday’s crop of scholar-athletes to recognize how fortunate they were and to always give their maximum effort.
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