Mohawk Fall Kick-Off a Success
A large crowd of Mohawk football supporters gathered Thursday, Aug. 10, for the Piggott Mohawk Football Fall Kick-off. The fundraiser for the football program was hosted by the Piggott Mohawk Football Alumni Boosters, and several thousand dollars was raised. Serving as speaker for the event was former PHS and ASU football standout Donnie Morrison.
The kick-off event was held in the old Scurlock gym, located on South Garfield, which has more recently been dubbed the Piggott Mohawk Athletic Complex. With the temperature around a tolerable mid-80s, those in attendance enjoyed a meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, baked beans, barbecue bologna and cold watermelon. Afterward, Morrison spoke to those on hand about his days as both an athlete and businessman.
The 1979 Piggott grad was a star on both sides of the football for the Tribe, and proved to be equally successful in the classroom. As a junior he rushed for 1,333 yards in the fall of 1977, scoring 17 touchdowns for the Mohawk team which didn't have a home field due to construction of PHS.
“I remember that we had our homecoming game at Kennett,” he reminisced.
During the 1978 campaign he carried the ball for 924 yards over the course of nine games, scoring 14 touchdowns and recording nine interceptions as well as a senior—and despite injury. That earned him an invitation to play in the 1979 coach's All-Star game, and for many years he would stand as the last Mohawk to earn the honor.
Morrison later signed a letter of intent to attend ASU, where he was a four-year letterman and a finance major. Gaining playing time as a freshman, he earned “back of the week” honors against the University of Wyoming as he accounted for 13 tackles and a forced fumble. His performances earned him a starting linebacker spot as a sophomore.
The following season he was forced to make a tough decision, but made the most of the chance.
“I was injured in the offseason, and lost my starting linebacker spot,” he recalled. “I could have give-up, but there was a spot at noseguard and I thought—I can do that.”
Playing at the noseguard spot, he also drew the attention of Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant as he recorded eight tackles in the Indians loss to the Crimson Tide.
He completed his collegiate career by being chosen All-Southland Conference and was named to the All-Conference academic team as well for his work in the classroom. His best season for the Indians was his junior campaign, as he recorded 62 tackles.
In the years since, Morrison has made a name for himself in banking and finance. Recently he has moved into the IT side of the industry, developing software and other technologies and strategies.
He spoke of using the lessons, and values, he learned growing up in Piggott in the business world. Morrison also noted his life as a boy in Piggott served him well in dealing with international clients.
“I worked in India, and I found it was very much like Piggott in many ways,” he explained. “They're very based in home, family and religion and those are things I could relate to.”
Morrison also offered advice to the Mohawk football players and coaches in attendance, to make the most of the opportunities they have—pointing to his own success as an example.
Afterward, Morrison spent time visiting with the players and guests in attendance.
In support of the football program, Morrison also donated his football memorabilia. Included were his PHS letter jacket, All-Star game plaque and other awards. He also included a number of team pictures and programs from both PHS and his time at ASU. Mohawk Head Football Coach Michael Harrell reports the items will soon be on display.
During the gathering a drawing was also held for two tickets to an Arkansas Razorback football game at War Memorial Stadium, donated by Billy Joe Seal. Winner of the tickets was Bryan Allman.