Haley receives Burlsworth Award
Rector senior Clinton Haley has long been known as a stellar athlete. Now the talented young man is being recognized for his character in addition to his athletic prowess.
Haley is the recipient of the Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Award, named for the late memorable Razorback walk-on who set an example by being a top athlete, student and person of strong moral fiber. The award is designed to recognize players who are upstanding citizens with a high level of drive, diligence to academics and strong character.
"It's an honor to receive the Burlsworth Award," Haley said. "I hope to carry on the tradition of Mr. Burlsworth. I'd like to thank my parents and all of my teachers and coaches for helping me become who I am. There have been a lot of people who have helped me in my life."
Cougar football coach Bob Alberson was contacted by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation early in the season about giving the award to Haley.
"The foundation believed he possesses the qualities they are looking for, and I certainly agreed," Alberson said. "Clinton is an outstanding athlete and also a top-notch individual. I believe he has everything it takes to succeed in life and be a positive influence on those around him."
Haley is the 18-year-old son of Brent and Michelle Haley of Rector. He has played football for the Cougars every year since fourth grade, as well as being a member of the basketball and baseball teams. He also is a standout in academics, having received numerous scholarship offers based upon his work in the classroom.
"I've enjoyed my time as a student here at Rector. I've been fortunate to have a community that cares about me and wants to see me move ahead and succeed."
The Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Award was established in 2003 to honor the memory and goals of the Harrison native. Burlsworth received a scholarship to the University of Arkansas during his first semester because of his ability and work ethic. He went on to earn All-SEC and All-American honors during his time on the Razorback offensive line. Burlsworth earned his Master's degree prior to playing his final college game, a first for the University.
Burlsworth was selected 63rd overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft. Tragedy struck just days after his first mini-camp when he died in a car accident.
Burlsworth's family established the foundation in his name to promote hard work, morals and the will to achieve no matter the odds.