Jones, Lee, and Long win coveted 12th-Man Award
“When you canvass our former conference players of the year, all of them signed the helmet…” Carter Conley, Defensive Coordinator, Centre College
Last night, Centre’s football team awarded its coveted 12th-Man Awards. The 12th-Man Awards are given weekly to the outstanding players on the scout team in all three phases of football (offense, defense, special teams). It is an award believed to span the past 23-or-so years.
The winners of the 12th-Man immortalize the achievement by signing a helmet maintained in the football offices at Centre College. It is very prestigious to get to sign that helmet.
JJ, Jones, Conner Lee, and William Long all added their signatures to the helmet yesterday. To a man, they reported being excited, humbled, and very honored.
We were able to contact the Defensive Coordinator at Centre College. Carter Conley who provided us an interesting take on both the winners of the award and its relative significance.
“We make a huge deal of the scout team player of the week. It is a great honor.”
Carter continued, “Often times the player of the year in our conference (SAA) comes from our team. When you canvass our former conference players of the year, all of them signed the helmet as the scout team player of the week. We know the trajectory of those players is extremely high.”
History is a fine teacher. I believe I have before heard that said or written, or both.
Freshman RB, Connor Lee from Union, Kentucky, won the award on the offensive side of the football. Freshman LB, JJ Jones, from Hamilton, OH won the award for special teams. Our own William L. Long, II, from Breathitt, won the award for his play on defense.
Curiously, Long and Jones are roomies in Nevin Hall. Perhaps there is something in the water in that particular dorm room?
We caught up with Breathitt’s Will Long. He told the Times-Voice, “It was a huge honor. The 12th-Man is a big deal in our program. To have won it is a very big deal to me.”
Long continued, “I am looking forward to our game with Hanover tonight. I am looking forward to pursuing excellence with a vengeance every opportunity afforded me.”
We were also able to interview the special team’s 12th-Man Award winner, JJ Jones, from Hamilton, Ohio. Jones was easy to find. He was in the bunk-bed right above Long.
Jones told the Times-Voice, “I am delighted to be instrumental in helping prepare our team to take on tonight’s challenge. We have to earn the right to win."
Jones continued, "I took that mindset into practice this past week. I am humbled my efforts were deemed worthy of this award.”
Kickoff tonight is 7:00 EST. Hanover is a ranked opponent in most nationally prominent polls and coming off three consecutive conference crowns in the HCAC.
Hopefully, the Colonels are well prepared for this challenge. Provided the Colonels prove themselves to be, there are at least three guys who have ample reason to believe they mightily contributed to the effort.