CELINA-Fourteen seniors, including nine football players, were honored here at Coach John Teeples Field last Friday night before the Bulldogs’ matchup with the undefeated and top-ranked Gordonsville Tigers, to whom Clay County fell in defeat by a score of 57-18.
Senior players Jessie Carter, Corey Hamilton, Caige McBride, Alex McLerran, William Meadows, Tanner Rich, Justin Smith, Ben Strong, and Ted Turner joined cheerleaders Shawna Hatcher and Donna Jo Scott, managers Meggie Briggs (also cheerleader) and Samantha Flowers, and band/color guard member Christina Warden as honorees.
Longtime Bulldog public address announcer Michael Miller introduced the seniors to the home crowd as follows:
• Warden is the daughter of Verneal and Billy Warden, a one-year member of the band, and two year member of the color guard;
• Hatcher is the daughter of Shawn Hatcher and the granddaughter of Sherry George, a one-year member of the cheerleading squad, and plans to attend Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with a major in business;
• Scott is the daughter of Tammy, Frankie, and Donnie Scott, a three-year member of the cheerleading squad, and plans to attend TTU with a major in psychology;
• Briggs is the daughter of Amy and John Briggs, a two-year cheerleader, a one-year manager, and plans to attend TTU; and
• Flowers is the daughter of Mary Alice and Tommy Carol and the late Joe Flowers, a three-year manager, and plans to attend the University of Tennessee (UT) at Knoxville.
Miller then continued with the players, including some career stats and accomplishments:
• Carter is the son of the late Marsha Carter and the nephew of Carolyn Smith, plans to attend TTU with a major in mechanical engineering, is a four-year football player, and one-year starter with career totals of 30 tackles, one for a loss, and one sack;
• Hamilton is the son of Patricia Hamilton and the grandson of Kathleen and Edward Lewis Hamilton, plans to attend college, is a four-year football player, and a four-year starter with 97 tackles, four for loss, eight interceptions, 59 carries for 325 yards and four touchdowns, and 36 catches for 795 yards and seven touchdowns;
• McBride is the son of Donna and Jimmy McBride, plans to attend TTU with a major in education, is a four-year football player, and a two-year starter with 20 tackles, four for loss, and two sacks;
• McLerran is the son of Andrea and Dewayne McLerran, plans to attend TTU with a major in wildlife management, is a four-year football player, and a three-year starter with 121 tackles, eight for loss, six sacks, three interceptions, 132 completions on 286 attempts for 2,349 yards and 23 touchdowns, and he also ran for eight more touchdowns;
• Meadows is the son of Sarah and Terry Meadows, plans to attend TTU, is a four-year football player, and a four-year starter with 173 tackles, 13 for loss, 10 sacks, 186 carries for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns, and 11 catches for 170 yards;
• Rich is the son of Denisa and Johnny Rich, plans to attend lineman school, is a four-year football player, and a two-year starter with 23 tackles, five for loss, and three sacks;
• Smith is the son of Sabrina and Johnny Smith, a four-year football player, and a one-year starter with 12 tackles and one for a loss;
• Strong is the son of Amy and Timmy Strong, plans to attend the Tennessee Technology Center in Livingston, is a four-year football player, and two-year starter with 15 tackles, one for a loss, and a sack; and
• Turner is the son of Tammy Turner and the stepson of Mark Reese, plans to attend TTU, is a four-year football player, and a four-year starter with 59 tackles, four for loss, two interceptions, three carries for 18 yards, and has made 12 of 17 extra point attempts.
Dawgs finish season at 2-8
The senior night pre-game festivities were about all Bulldog fans had to enjoy over the weekend as the Associated Press Class A #1-ranked Tigers went on to ensure Clay County finished the season at 2-8.
The visitors scored on their first six straight possessions to open the game en route to amassing an insurmountable 41-0 halftime lead.
Gordonsville began the third quarter with reserve players and the Bulldogs did take advantage as seniors Hamilton and Meadows enjoyed crossing the goalline one last time as a part of the black, purple, and gold.
After an explosive kick-off return by the shifty senior, Hamilton hauled in a 20-yard pass from quarterback Chris Nagy to get the Dawgs on the board, while Meadows punched the ball in from three yards out on the ensuing drive to make it 41-12 with just over three minutes left in the period.
The Bulldogs then forced Gordonsville to punt and Hamilton again dazzled with a 60-yard return setting up the final Clay County touchdown by junior tailback Jayar Fraga.
The Tigers responded with a pair of their own in the fourth quarter to account for the final score and end Clay County’s 2012 campaign.