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BHS softball, football banquets held at right time

Softball and football banquets are special. Usually held inDecember, they arrive at the appropriate time of the year. Softballplayoffs finish near the end of October and football’s statechampionship playoffs are concluded in the first week of thisholiday month.

While memories of the seasons are still fresh, what better timeto honor the athletes. No sense in waiting until late April or Mayto recognize them for their accomplishments.

Class 4A Brookhaven is the largest high school in this area.Naturally, there is stronger support for each athletic team on theBHS campus and each one has a booster club or group of faithfulfans. When the invitation arrives to attend these banquets, someoneon our staff, usually me, is ready to take his better half and makean appearance.

Oh, by the way, make sure to bring your camera and note pad.Publicity is expected and much appreciated. The meal is delicious,fellowship fine and the banquet is shorter than usual since itdeals with just one sport.

The BHS softball banquet had a new location this time, theupstairs meeting room at the Sports Complex. Volunteers, mainly themothers and fathers of players, helped decorate the facility. Theyalso cooked the food. Strings of Christmas lights were wrappedaround the metal railing which leads to the multiple press boxesand meeting area on the second floor.

It was a warm, cozy feeling as Coaches Lisa Covington and JohnOgden talked about their recent season. Parents smiled with prideand the players grinned. The players appreciated the generous giftsprovided by the boosters and everyone had a good time.

The BHS football banquet was held Tuesday night at theMultipurpose Building which is just around the curve from theSports Complex. Two gentlemen, Jimmy Furlow and BHS head footballcoach Greg Wall, who cooked the steaks on the outside grills, wentthe extra mile. The wind-chill factor was in the teens andtemperatures plunged to record lows that night.

Some of the moms, Sheila Furlow, Jodi Hoff and Jackie Crawford,spent the day baking cookies for the players and working ondecorations. There was a lot of volunteer work involved preparingfor the banquet and the decorations were especially nice. Manyhours of effort and planning made it a big success.

Certainly, the players and cheerleaders will have fond memoriesof this football banquet. Hopefully, when they marry and raisefamilies, the opportunity for them to help host a similar function20 years from now will occur.

For sure, the Brookhaven football team enjoyed a remarkableseason. The Panthers weren’t expected to win many games but theydedicated themselves in the preseason. Going 7-3 and making theClass 4A state playoffs is a great accomplishment.

Coach Wall commended the seniors for their extra dedication inwhat was expected to be a major rebuilding season. “You reallystepped up and led our team.”

One of the main leaders was senior quarterback Fred Perkins whowas recognized as Most Valuable Player at the banquet. Blessed withsize (6-3, 215), speed, strength and athletic ability, Perkins ranthe option with authority. After spending two years as a widereceiver/tight end, he was switched to quarterback at the start ofpreseason practice in early August.

Certainly, the Panthers boasted a strong rushing attack.Tailback Cornelius Allen, fullback Josh Anderson and wingback TarikWilliams ran behind a powerful offensive line.

Perkins is being recruited as a wide receiver or defensive backby major colleges. He made an official visit to Southern Miss threeweeks ago. In January, Perkins plans to visit Tulane, LSU,Mississippi State and Tennessee.

Also a standout baseball player, Perkins uses his foot speed tocover large expanses of the outfield during the spring season. Heswings a strong bat, too. Look for Perkins to play baseball as wellas football in college.

Wall made this prediction. “We will see Fred playing onSaturdays next fall. We could see him playing on Sundays, too, ontelevision in a few years.”