Mohawk Football Banquet Held

Friday, January 20, 2017
Former Mohawk standout Link Fuller served as the speaker for this year's PHS football banquet, held Saturday, Jan. 21, in the new gym.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

The historic Mohawk football season of the spring of 2016 was celebrated Saturday, Jan. 14, with a special awards banquet at PHS. Several hundred supporters joined the players, coaches and managers for the occasion, which concluded with a barbecue dinner.

During the awards ceremony the Mohawk coaching staff recognized individual achievement from the past campaign, and heard from former PHS standout Link Fuller, who served as the keynote speaker for the occasion.

To open the awards ceremony Mohawk Head Football Coach Michael Harrell offered a welcome to those on hand, and introduced Joe Cole to offer the invocation and blessing on the meal. Later, Cole would have the honor of introducing the feature speaker, and provide some historical background on the program and its former players.

Harrell then offered some of the highlights of the campaign, which saw the Mohawks fall in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual state champions from Prescott. He noted the season was the best in 47 years, as they equaled the nine wins of 1969. It was also the first playoff win in modern school history, and this year's squad went undefeated at home--another mark held by the 1969 squad.

The Tribe scored 409 points this year, average 31.3 points per game while racking up 4,979 yards in total offense. This was easily the highest scoring team in school history, and on the season 12 different Mohawks scored touchdowns.

The 2016 squad tied the mark for most games played (12) with the 1968 team, and they put themselves into the state record books for the most rushing attempts by a team in a single game (72) in the win at Rivercrest. The record is held by Cabot with 76 rushes.

This year also marked the first-ever win over Rivercrest, as the Tribe had stood at 0-17 with the Colts. It was also the first win over Hoxie since 1996, as the Mustangs enjoyed a 19 game winning streak. And, the defense only surrendered 177 points all season--including 59 to Prescott in the final game of the year. This easily eclipsed the previous record of 277 points.

Afterward, the Mohawk coaches recognized players from all three squads.

The first team recognized was the seventh grade Mohawk squad, as they were each introduced by Coach Walter Rau. Up next, members of the Mohawk junior squad were introduced and recognized. This year there were two winners for the coveted teammate award, as both Alex Tharp and Drake Featherston were recognized. Featherston was also recipient of the Mister Mohawk Award, also voted on by his teammates.

Coach Shawn Hearn then spoke about the Mohawk weight program, and the "Ironworkers" lifting team which dominated meets last year. He also handed-out the Mohawk offseason weight lifting award, which was presented to Reegan Mayberry.

Senior high players were recognized for post season honors, including--second team All-Conference selections Mason Tillman, Trey Gossett, Alex Gibson, Lane Buchanon, Cory Fuller and Hayden Lemmons. Chosen to the All-Conference first team were Gunner Shaw, Cade Harrell, John Jones, Nate Mallard, Justin Goding and Bret Fuller.

All-State Honorable Mentions included Bret Fuller and Cade Harrell, and chosen as All-State this year were a pair of talented juniors in Nate Mallard and John Jones.

Harrell then presented this year's teammate award to Jones, with Bret Fuller named recipient of the Mister Mohawk Award. Fuller was also recognized as the winner of the Brandon Burlsworth Award, which had been presented to him late last year.

The three senior from this year's squad, Bret Fuller, Justin Goding and Trevon Allen were also presented with a commemorative Mohawk helmet.

Following the awards presentation Cole returned to the speakers stand and introduced the keynote speaker for the evening.

Fuller, who has enjoyed a long career as both a coach and motivational speaker, then addressed those on hand--although the bulk of his comments were aimed at the players in attendance. He offered them the simple solution for success of hard work, and noted for Christians such as him, "good luck is what a fool calls a blessing."

He shared an emotional look back at his playing days as a Mohawk, and reminded the young players that the chance is fleeting. "It will be over before you know it," he added of their high school careers.

Citing the benefits of hard work, taking pride in your effort and having integrity in all you do--he implored the young men to always strive to do their best at all time.

Fuller went on to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks under a full scholarship, and after college worked as a scout for Coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys. He's also been involved as a recruiter and motivational speaker for both sports teams and Fortune 500 companies.

Following his speech those on hand retired to the cafeteria for a catered barbecue dinner, and the opportunity to enjoy video highlights of the past season. A silent auction was also conducted of donated items, with the proceeds benefiting the future success of the PHS football program.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: