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franklin county times

Golden Tigers hand out awards at football banquet

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
The Russellville Golden Tigers commemorated another outstanding football season with their annual awards banquet on Sunday.
The Race Horse Award, given to the player(s) with the best offensive production, was shared by senior running back Maurice McCulloch and junior quarterback Jeremy Helms.
Together, Helms and McCulloch helped lead the Golden Tigers to a 13-2 record and a third straight appearance in the Class 5A championship game.
McCulloch, who was also named the team's Five-Star Player of the Year, was Russellville's leading rusher with 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns on 136 carries, an average of 7.8 yards per attempt.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound speedster also caught 62 passes for 674 yards and five scores.
Helms, a first-team All-State selection, completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,275 yards and 37 touchdowns with only six interceptions. The 6-foot-0, 178-pound junior also rushed for 598 yards and 12 touchdowns on 127 carries.
Other awards given out on Sunday were as follows:
The Scrambler Award, given to the best offensive blocker, was shared by senior linemen Ty Cox, Torrey Groce and Aaron Harbin.
The Meanest Tiger Award was shared by junior defensive end Justin Rose, junior linebacker Brad Bowling and senior linebacker Bryant Bonds.
Junior rover Tone Suggs received the Hardest Hit Award for the third consecutive season.
The Special Teams Award was given to senior punter/placekicker Chris Swinney.
The Scout Team Award was presented to Cody Fuller and Kelby Jones.
Swinney, McCulloch, Cox, Bonds, senior receiver Jarrell Nesmith and senior defensive end Matt Humphries were honored as Team Captains.
Nesmith and fellow senior wideout Nick Woods received the Luther Thorne Spirit Award.
The Hal Kirby Sportsmanship Award went to Humphries and fellow senior defensive lineman B.J. Bean.
Nesmith received the Academic Award.
Senior receiver Roge Bedford was selected for the inaugural Russell Mears Memorial Award, given in memory of a former Golden Tiger player who passed away as a freshman in the early 1990s.
Bedford also received the Torch Award, a service award given to a player who carried on the Golden Tiger tradition with pride.
The Touchdown Club Courage Award was given to senior defensive lineman Curt Thorne, who returned from an early-season knee injury to take the field with the team prior to the state championship game.
Film crew members Bert Fowler and Russell Thorne received the Service Award.
Sophomore cornerback Casey Phillips and freshman rover Kory Suggs, the team's leading tackler, shared the Effort on Defense Award.
The Effort on Offense Award was shared by senior receivers Craig Bullion and Laffy Tiggs and freshman fullback Michael Abernathy.
Senior placekicker Alberto Martinez received the Effort on Special Teams Award.
Helms, sophomore offensive lineman Taz Tillery, and sophomore defensive back Rashad Graham shared the Effort in the Weight Room Award.
Finally, Aaron Ballard, Corey Trapp, Torrey Baird and Caleb Mitchell were named Team Captains for the freshman squad.

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