Tribe Gathers for Mohawk Football Awards Banquet

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Members of the senior Piggott Mohawk football team recognized with post-season honors were, from left: Lane Buchanan, Dylan Bellers, Mason Tillman, Gunner Shaw, Luke Boyd, Hayden Lemmons, Cory Fuller, Trey Gossett, John Jones, Cade Harrell, Alex Gibson and Nate Mallard.
TD photo/Tim Blair

The Piggott Mohawk Football Program hosted its annual awards banquet Friday, Jan. 5, in the PHS gym and handed-out honors to members of all three teams. With several hundred in attendance, recognition and commemorative plaques were bestowed on the players, special volunteers and others involved in the program. The players, coaches, family members, alumni and supporters in attendance also heard from former Mohawk, and UofA standout, Tom Dixon.

Afterward, those assembled retired to the PHS cafeteria for a meal catered by HogWild Barbecue.

Head football coach Michael Harrell opened the event, offering a word of prayer and welcome, and introducing coaches Shawn Hearn and Walter Rau and the volunteer members of the staff.

A special autographed print of Tom Dixon (center) from the 1969 Sugar Bowl was presented to the Mohawk team Friday night by Joe Cole (left) and accepted by Coach Michael Harrell. During the awards assembly Harrell presented both Cole and Dixon with the Piggott Mohawk Brotherhood Legacy Award.
TD photo/Tim Blair

He also singled-out dozens of individuals for recognition, including those involved with the concession stand, booster club, sideline support, clock and scoreboard operations, the chain gang and others. He also voiced special thanks to interim superintendent Barry DeHart, PHS principal Paul Seegraves and school board members Jim Threatt, Chris Roberts, Hope Burns, Bradley Dunlap and Jennifer Rahn. Harrell also offered thanks to superintendent Charlie Powell, who in his words “got it all started” in reference to the improvements to the football field and track complex at Parker Field.

The coach also offered a special thanks to Cody Knight, of Piggott State Bank, Rodney Rouse of First National Bank, Jammie Stephens of Piggott State Bank, PHS band director Jeremy Wortham, Piggott High FBLA adviser Stacy Peters, Brent Wellman and Dennis Bellers.

During the ceremony, Harrell also presented a special plaque in recognition to Dr. Greg Mallard, who has served as the team physician the past several years.

Dixon, a 1964 grad of Piggott High School, was a key part of the greatest streak in Mohawk football lore. He racked-up high school honors as a member of the Tribe, also garnering such recognition as High School All-American second team, outstanding back in the district and most outstanding back in the high school all star game.

Dixon spoke prior to the senior team portion of the awards program, and was introduced by another former Mohawk, Joe Cole. Noting the notoriety of the PHS and Razorback teams he played on, Cole entertained those in attendance with a number of stories about the exploits of the local native.

Dixon then addressed the players, and those on hand, with reminiscences of his time as both a member of the Tribe and the Hogs. Looking back on stories of his days as a player, he also shared his thoughts on the symbolism of the fourth quarter. A mult-sport standout in his high school days, Dixon encouraged the players to always strive to be the best they could be without giving up, sharing the story of the success of a former walk-on as an example.

During the awards ceremony Coach Harrell also presented Mohawk Brotherhood Legacy award plaques to Dixon and Cole, in recognition of their support of the football program.

Certificates were handed-out to each member of the PHS seventh grade team, as they were officially welcomed into the Mohawk Brotherhood.

Next, the members of the junior high team were introduced and each received a plaque recognizing them as Clay County champs this past season. Presented with the junior high Mr. Mohawk award was Kyson Conley while the Mohawk teammate award went to Michael Parker.

Following Dixon's comments, and often choked with emotion, Harrell handed out the recognition to the members of the senior high team. Included was a plaque for each player recognizing the team was Clay County champs for 2017, as the Tribe easily handled both of their county rivals.

Named to the 3A-3 All-Conference second team were Mason Tillman, Luke Boyd, Lane Buchanan and Dylan Bellers. Meanwhile, there were eight members of the Tribe chosen as All-Conference including, Nate Mallard, Cade Harrell, John Jones, Hayden Lemmons, Alex Gibson, Cory Fuller, Gunner Shaw and Trey Gossett.

Nate Mallard and John Jones, who were chosen All-State last year as juniors, were chosen as All-State Honorable Mentions for their play in the fall of 2017, while Cade Harrell was an All-State selection for his play at linebacker.

Harrell also presented Alex Gibson with this year's Brandon Burlsworth Award, although winner of the honor had been announced late last year.

The coach also presented plaques to four seniors who have been nominated to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Football Game, which included Mallard, Harrell, Jones and Lemmons. They will be included among the players to be considered for the All-Star roster, which will be set by the coaches chosen to lead the respective east and west squads.

Coach Harrell also had the honor of handing out the coveted “Mister Mohawk” award for this year, which was presented to Nate Mallard. He also presented two members of the team with the teammate award, which is voted on by the other players, with John Jones and Cory Fuller sharing the honor.

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