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Banquet honors AJH football

Alexander Junior High head football coach Jesse Terrell praisedhis eighth grade team as being one of the best he has coached inhis 10 years at the helm. Terrell’s Panthers compiled a 2-yearrecord of 11-1-1, winning the district championship thisseason.

Terrell, his assistant coaching staff of Russ Britt, WillieGayten, Alonzo Harris, Wallace Lilly and Antonio Wilson; and theirplayers were honored at Tuesday night’s football awards banquet.AJH Booster Club president Sarah Foster welcomed the large crowdwho braved a rain-soaked, stormy night to attend the affair thatwas held at the Brookhaven Recreation Department.

“I appreciate you coaches and all of your efforts to make thisprogram successful,” said Foster. The coaches were presented giftsby AJH assistant principals Randy Spring and Dr. Thomas AnnGatlin.

Foster introduced guest speaker Jessie Bowman, a 2005 BrookhavenHigh School graduate who starred as a defensive lineman on thePanthers’ 2004 Class 4A State Championship Team. Bowman also playedfor Copiah-Lincoln Community College, earning All-State honors; andfor Mississippi State University where he helped the Bulldogs winthe Liberty Bowl his junior year.

Bowman obtained a degree in teaching and coaching from MSU.

“It’s amazing,” said Bowman. “Just a few years ago, I was astudent at Alexander. I’ve accomplished a lot since then but Iwouldn’t be able to do it without God.”

Bowman said he wanted each player to keep working hard. “Do yourbest and the results will show.”

Bowman played for Glenn Davis at Co-Lin and helped the Wolfpackwin the Golden Isles Classic in Brunswick, Ga., his sophomoreseason after finishing runner-up in the state playoffs.

He played for Sylvester Croom at MSU.

“Coach Croom had two words for me when I got to Starkville,attitude and effort,” said Bowman. “Get up each day with a positiveattitude. Don’t be negative. Be positive in the classroom and onthe playing field.”

Bowman said he cherished his Brookhaven roots. “I loveBrookhaven and I want your players to represent Alexander andBrookhaven well in the future.”

Members of the seventh and eighth grade teams receivedcertificates from Terrell and his staff.

Seventh grade team members receiving special awards were TavisMoore, Most Valuable Defensive Player; Jermone Kelly, Most ValuableOffensive Player; Trey Esch, Most Valuable Offensive Lineman;Benjamin Robinson, Most Valuable Defensive Back; Scott Bateman,Scholastic Award; Quayshun Edwards, Most Valuable DefensiveLineman’ Abrandoe Miller, Most Valuable Offensive Back; and AustinCollins, Panther Award.

Coach Terrell said it was extremely difficult to pick a MostValuable Offensive Lineman on the eighth grade team so he honoredthe entire front line. They included Keefar Nelson, Will McDowel,Brett Spring, Anthony Wilson and Marquese Gibson, Most ValuableOffensive Linemen; Tyris Hill, Most Valuable Defensive Player;Billy Thomas, Most Valuable Offensive Player; Torriyance Loving,Most Valuable Defensive Back; Joshua Thomas, Most ValuableDefensive Lineman; Diante Spiller, Panther Award; and Tyler Thomas,Most Valuable Offensive Back

Working with Foster are AJH Booster Club officers: NikkiHolloway, vice president; Amy Spring, secretary; Portia Miller,assistant secretary; Gerri Miller, treasurer; Valerie Moore,assistant treasurer.