Lawrence County’s Hardy, Bogue Chitto’s Bales are Players of the Week

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Daily Leader Players of the Week are Lawrence County’s Ahmad Hardy and Bogue Chitto’s  Colten Bales.


Hardy runs through Taylorsville to earn OPOW honors

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Lawrence County has a running back that runs through arm tackles and refuses to be brought down by one defender. And his last name is Hardy.

LC sophomore running back Ahmad Hardy is trying to create his own legacy as a ball-carrier for the Cougars. Friday against Taylorsville he carried the rock 10 times for 184 yards and two scores. For his outstanding output, Hardy has been named The Daily Leader Offensive Player of the Week.

Over a decade ago it was his uncle Kendrick that was running through defenses for the Cougars. Kendrick Hard was a four-star recruit that rushed for over 1,700 yards as a senior and over 2,100 yards as a junior before signing with the University of Southern Miss.

Kendrick Hardy was preceded by his brother Wayne, who also played running back at LC before going to Southern Miss.

His aunt Eurika was a state champion sprinter in track at LC and ran collegiately at Mississippi State and Alcorn State.

Ahmad’s dad Kentario was a Lawrence County standout in his own right before playing collegiately as a defensive end at Nicholls State University.

Last season Ahmad Hardy was an impact player as a freshman linebacker for coach Jesse Anderson and the Cougars.

Figuring out who would be “the guy” for the LC offense was something Anderson and his staff came into the season still trying to establish.

Hardy got five carries in a season opening 12-6 win over Lumberton. The following week against Natchez High, Anderson was looking for a spark and started feeding Hardy carries.

The sophomore responded by averaging 8.1 yards per carry and finishing with 97 yards and two scores in a 34-20 loss.

It was clear to everyone watching that Hardy’s worth as a running back would be huge for the team moving forward.

At halftime against Natchez, Hardy had to put on a new jersey as the grasping hands of defenders had done a number on his original no. 29.

He runs hard, with his head out over his feet and his knees bent. Tacklers tend to bounce off his shoulders as Hardy stays low to the ground. He’s always moving forward, even while being tackled.

Hardy is the type of runner who isn’t down until he’s all the way down, fighting for extra yards on every touch.

He’s a Hardy for sure and that’s got to have the Lawrence County faithful excited about the future of their team.


Ball hawking Bales of Bogue Chitto is defensive player of the week

Troy Smith Field was a muddy track Friday night as host Bogue Chitto and visiting Mize took turns pounding on each other.

The Bobcat defense pitched a shutout in a 7-0 win for the first victory over Mize in school history.

The BC players were filthy when things were said and done, but a win makes issues like that seem trivial.

Senior linebacker Colten Bales was the head Bobcat leading the charge for the Bogue Chitto defense and coach Gareth Sartin. He made 12 tackles in the win, with four of those coming behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. For his efforts, Bales has been named The Daily Leader Defensive Player of the Week.

Bales was limited by injuries last season, but he’s been in the middle of things for the Bogue Chitto defense since he was an underclassman.

In 2020 Bales made 39 tackles in five games and eight of those were for a loss.

He made 13 tackles in a season opening win against Pisgah this year, but then missed the next two weeks against Mount Olive and Enterprise.

His presence was missed against Mount Olive especially as the Pirates used big plays in the second half to secure a win.

An instinctive player, Bales is quick to judge if the offense is going to try a run or passing play. He’s fearless when meeting a runner at the line of scrimmage, willing to lay out with everything to make a tackle.

As a sophomore he led the team in tackles while earning Daily Leader All-Area honors.

Expect another big game from Bales Friday when 3-1 Bogue Chitto hits the road to take on 3-1 Puckett in Rankin County.