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Coach draws up 'sweep and mop' play

At last week’s football banquet, I sat with the family of quarterback Colin Amison because I know them well, much better than I do any of the coaches or players with the Port St. Joe High School program.

This is because I live in Apalachicola and have covered the Sharks, and the Carrabelle Pirates, and now the Seahawks, for almost 20 years. That’s how I know them; the family is a big part of over here.

Junior Colin Amison, with his parents, Melanie Copeland, left, and Ottice Amison.
Junior Aiden Gainer
Junior Nick Jefferson
Junior Justice Peacock
Senior Trayton Dockery
Team manager Ben Wilker, left, and ballboy 'String Bean' Jones
Sophomore Saylor Tull
Senior Will McCall

In fact, #9, Amison, a junior whose teammates last week voted best offensive player for the team’s 2020 season, grew up here, played here, long before he ever tossed the pigskin in the lights along Shark Drive.

He’s not the only one, Odom, Turrell, others unnamed, they’re all Seahawks, both present and former, now swimming with the Sharks.

Which was good company at last week’s banquet, a night to share praise for a season well-done, and well played.

Of course there is no celebration without expectations, and defensive coordinator Chuck Moore spoke them in his remarks, voicing the consensus of head coach Tanner Jones, offensive coordinator Toney Powell, line coach Bobby Alexander, wide receivers Ashley Summerlin, defensive backs Kenneth Parker, and linebackers and running backs coach Darrion Wilson.

“We are going to make a run in ’21,” Moore said. “That’s our plan. The stakes are high. It’s time to get rolling.”

Moore made his remarks before announcing the defensive player award, reviewing the statistical accomplishments - 51 solo tackles, 34 assists, better than nine total per game -  by junior middle linebacker Aiden Gainer, referring to his play in the team’s Sept. 25 win at Rutherford 28-13.

“That’s the first time we really bowed our neck,” Moore said. “Our little linebacker took it to the line.”

In announcing the offensive award, Powell recounted Amison’s numbers, 125 of 204 passes completed, better than 60 percent, for 2,128 yards, an average of 236 yards per game, plus rushing for another 142 yards, leading the team to 43 touchdowns over nine games, evenly split between the air and on the ground.

Simpson followed by presenting the Pride of the Shark award to senior linebacker and punter Jacob Hopper.

Bobby Nobles presented a family award on behalf of a long line, four decades, of Port St. Joe football players, back to his grandmother who raised three boys. The award, “for desire and dedication,” went to junior lineman Justice Peacock.

Tracy Browning continued a six-year long tradition started by his father; the Howard Browning Broadcast Award went to senior Austin Ard.

The Woodman of the World award will be given to senior end Israel Goldsborough by Chad Arant at a mutually convenient time.

Team manager Ben Wilker and ballboy “Stringbean” Jones were recognized for their contribution.

Captains awards went to senior receiver Trenton Dockery, junior running back Nick Jefferson, Gainer, and Hopper.

Jones closed the banquet, an energetic thank-you to all the many people who contributed their time and resources on behalf of the team.

He then addressed “the young guys.”

His advice, though wasn’t about football or personal bests in the weight room, or any of that, but about helping Mom around the house.

“Learn how to sweep, learn how to mop,” Jones said. “Help her do the dishes.”

He offered a warm farewell to the seniors, and said the door is always open.

“We’re going to miss you,” he said. “We’re always going to be here.”