By John R. Schirmer
Senior offensive lineman Cameron Alexander was named the Nashville Scrappers’ Most Valuable Player Saturday night at the conclusion of the 54th annual Rotary Club Football Banquet.
A three-year starter, Alexander was a Permanent Team Captain, All-District and All-State selection and will play in the Arkansas All-Star game this summer in Conway.
Rotary president Margi Jenks presented the MVP award to Alexander and invited his mother, Tammy Alexander, and his father, Jeff Alexander, to join the honoree on stage at the Nashville Elementary School cafeteria.
“What is an MVP?” Jenks said she asked as she prepared for Saturday’s banquet.
“I asked the coaches. They said somebody who is always in the weight room. Someone with high academic standards, a 4.0 GPA for Cameron. Someone who is loyal. Competitive. Selfless. All about the team and doing what’s best for the team.
“Then I asked his mom. She said Cameron has always wanted to be a Scrapper from the time when the high school players visited kids at elementary and primary. He’s worked to better himself. He gets up every morning at 5:30 and works out at the Gym in Nashville before school and after basketball practice. His ultimate dream is to be a football coach himself,” Jenks said in giving Tammy Alexander’s description of her son. “He loves his teammates and friends. He’s a good role model. He’s a Christian. He’s dependable and doesn’t take it easy. He’s loving, funny, sometimes a pain, but I love him dearly.”
Last, Jenks turned to the MVP honoree himself in the form of an essay which he wrote for David Schwope’s Advanced Composition class at NHS. In the essay, Alexander told what it meant to him to be a Scrapper.
“My high school career is over,” he said in the essay. “I’ll never forget going on the field on Friday night. There’s no better feeling. It’s a real blessing what God has opened for me. I had a great relationship with my coaches going back to seventh grade. They got on me on the field, but it was their way of showing they loved me. I’m thankful for everything. As they say in Nashville, ‘Once a Scrapper, Always a Scrapper.’”
The MVP presentation was the climax of a night of accolades for the Scrappers. Position coaches presented a number of awards to their players, including the following:
Outstanding Defensive LIneman – Coach Jerry Baker presented the award to LT Muldrow. “He made my job easy. He led our defensive front and taught our younger kids to work and showed the value of dedication to the game. He’s a special young man and made a big impact on my life,” Baker said. Muldrow had 76 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss and 13 hurries.
Outstanding Offensive LIneman – Coach D.J. Graham presented the award to Cameron Alexander. “He had 65 big blocks, 30 STAR plays, a 93 percent grading average,” Graham said. “He anchored our O-line. He worked himself into the best lineman in the conference. He will develop into the best on his college team,” Graham said. Alexander is a two-time Outstanding Lineman of the Year for the Scrappers and was Lineman of the Year in District 7-4A.
Outstanding Receiver - Coach Paul Ernest presented the award to LaMichael Pettway. For the season, Pettway had 56 receptions for 1,058 yards, 15 touchdown receptions and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Outstanding Defensive Back – Coach Brian Bearden presented the award to Leonard Snell, who recently was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Super Sophomore team.
Outstanding Defensive Linebacker – Coach Brian “Boomer” Brown presented the award to Ashton Walker, whose first extensive action came against Watson Chapel, where he played before transferring to Nashville. Walker had 71 tackles and 3 TFLs. “He’s one of the most coachable athletes I’ve seen,” Brown said.
Outstanding Running Back – Coach Billy Dawson presented the award to Kyler Lawrence. The senior “had a great career here,” Dawson said, and played on offense and defense. He had 1,055 yards receiving and running, 15 touchdowns, 39 tackles and 4 break-ups.
Outstanding Special Teams – Coach Jerry Baker said the recipient was Christian Aranda, who was unable to attend the banquet. Aranda, the Scrapper kicker, made 41 of 45 PATs and 2 of 2 field goals for a total of 47 points.
Champion Awards Defense – Recipients were David Galvan and Charles Furr.
Champion Awards Offense – Recipients were Lee Scroggins and Curtis Myers.
All-District – Coach Billy Dawson introduced All-District selections, including first team Cameron Alexander, LT Muldrow, Tyler Parker and LaMichael Pettway; second team Braden Hood, Leonard Snell, Billy Stewart and Kyler Lawrence; honorable mention Asher Walker, Kory Snodgrass, Ashton Walker, Storm Nichols and Lucas Liggin.
All-State – Cameron Alexander, LaMichael Pettway.
All-Star – Cameron Alexander. He was named the Outstanding Lineman in District 7-4A and will play in the Arkansas All-Star game June 27 at the University of Central Arkansas.
Permanent Team Captains – Cameron Alexander, Eric Perez and LT Muldrow. “They were selected by their peers,” Dawson said. “I told the players that they were voting for strong work ethic, someone who stands up for what’s right, someone that 10 years from now, you’ll still be proud of them. You know, the players get it right every year. They’re always watching. Our choices this year are three unbelievable human beings. Ten years from now, they’ll be owning companies, preaching, coaching, doing something to make us proud. They’ll carry the Scrapper Star with them everywhere.”