When you rush for a probable school-record 4,016 yards in your career, you’re going to pick up a few trophies along the way.
The gold rush of awards continued Sunday night for Arab senior running back Mathew Turnage, who was named the team’s overall MVP at the Knights’ season-ending banquet Sunday night at Gilliam Springs Baptist Church.
But that’s not all. Turnage also became the recipient of the 68th Bemon Lyon Award, considered the most prestigious of all Arab awards dating back to when it was presented for the first time to Travis Barnard after the 1952 season.
Turnage also received the team’s rushing award, of course, after finishing the season with 1,439 yards and 14 touchdowns on 248 carries. And he also was named one of the 2020 team’s permanent captains alongside Christian Eaton, Cody Morgan, Jesse McCombs and Alex Alcala.
Earlier, Turnage had been named to the 6A, Region 7 first team offense and he was voted the Offensive Co-MVP for the All-Marshall County team by county coaches.
Eaton was honored Sunday night for making the most sacks and tackles for losses. He and John Wesson Johnson joined Turnage on the All-Region 7 first team. They both also made the All-County team along with Hayden O’Reilly, Mitchell Duquette and Morgan.
Johnson was honored as the team’s leader in receiving. Alcala received the Utility Award. O’Reilly was honored for having the most takeaways, and Duquette was recognized as the team’s leading tackler.
Other awards presented included the Most Improved Award (offense), which was shared by Aiden Cox and Spencer Strickland; the Highest Grade Award for offensive lineman, which was shared by Jebb Bryan and Jaden Clark; the Most Improved Award (defense), which went to John Ray Wilks; and the Special Teams Award, won by kicker Gavin Currier.
The Academic/GPA Award went to John Brady Bowman, who came out for football his senior year.
“When John Brady came out for football,” joked head coach Lee Ozmint, “the team’s GPA went through the roof.”
Cheerleaders also were honored. For the varsity, Shelby Isom and Nevaeh Martin were named permanent captains.
Martin also was voted the Most Spirit Award and Josie Puccio the Most Dedicated.
For the JV squad, Savannah Best and Sarah Beth Sularin were named captains and Nora Slaton was named Most Improved.
All the players and cheerleaders were recognized individually, but the seniors went home with some special souvenirs honoring them for their contributions to the program. Senior cheerleaders recognized were Isom, Martin, Brighten Cody, Kelsee Haynes and Savanna Kelley.
Senior players recognized were Turnage, Eaton, Morgan, McCombs, Alcala, Bowman, Bryson Bailey, Brody Bradshaw, Brodie Cash, Cole Davis, Jacob Holland, Matthew Kensing, Hayden Patterson, Jose Richey, Bradley Ridgeway and Jacob Thompson.