Dallas County’s finest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Eleven outstanding athletes and students were honored Thursday night at the 34th Annual Dallas County All-Star Football Banquet.

The event featured guest speaker L.C. Cole, the football coach at Sidney Lanier and former coach of the Alabama State Hornets.

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Although Cole – himself an outstanding football player – was talking to a room full of athletes, he spent the majority of the time speaking on everything outside the playing field.

“Your attitude determines how you respond to situations and also determines your success,” Cole said. “Get rid of the negative things and the negative people around you. And take the negative, then turn it into a positive … If you’re in a situation that needs to be changed, then you be that person that changes it.”

Despite being raised by parents with third-grade educations, Cole and his nine brothers all attended college.

Cole asked that the players make the top priorities in their lives faith, family, education, maximizing their talent and balancing their social lives.

Donovan Lewis of Keith won the scholastic award. Lewis currently has a GPA of 3.84.

Southside’s Marcus Ishman won the Outstanding Defensive Player Award.

Kevin Rowe cleaned up by winning the Outstanding Offensive Player Award and the Most Valuable Player. He finished the year with more than 1,700 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns for Southside.

The rest of the all-star team consisted of Larry Johnson (Keith), Donovan Lewis (Keith), David Banks (Dallas County), Arterreus Fails (Southside), Akeem Moore (Southside), Clifton Snow (Southside), Derrick James (Keith), Anthony Caver (Dallas County) and Willie Cooper (Southside).

“If you want to become a successful lawyer, doctor or football player, don’t start in the 12th grade,” Cole said. “Start in the ninth grade. Things have changed now. Colleges don’t recruit 12th graders anymore. They start recruiting when kids are in the 11th grade. Have short-term and long-term goals.

“Nothing comes easy. If someone tells you something is going to be easy, they’re not telling the truth.”