Porter comments on his 2013 football seniors

seniorsBy Kris Freeman for The White House Connection

WHITE HOUSE – These kids played 52 games.

For all the thoughts about the seniors of the 2013 White House High School football team, the total sum of their games tells an incredible story in itself. These Blue Devils made four straight trips to the Class 4-A quarterfinals and played 12 extra games in addition to a 40-game regular season schedule.

White House was 10-3 and lost to Giles County Friday night, 34-10.

That means White House got a whole extra season plus two games for a group that will graduate in 2014. Reflecting on their success after Friday’s loss to Giles County, head coach Jeff Porter commented on his senior class:

“They played hard for 13 games and that was the greatest compliment you could give to them,” Porter said. “They played hard, and they were going to play hard to the very end. They have represented our school and this community with class, with success and with hard work.

“All year long, we never had two back-to-back bad practices, and we didn’t have many bad practices period. But we never had a tough one where they did not back it up the next day with a good one, and they were a fun group to coach. This was a successful group, and when the kids will trust you and listen to what we desire out of them as a football team it makes for a very fun year. They went out and did it.

“They probably came further than any group we have ever had from fall camp to where we ended up. If you had told me we would get 13 games out of this group in August, we would have taken that immediately. To go undefeated in the district, win two district championships, and then get to the quarterfinals four straight times is a huge credit to our kids. That only happens because they showed what being unselfish is about and how it can allow great things to happen.”

Individual comments:

Alicia Callis – Senior Manager

“Alicia took our manager program to the highest level that it has ever been. She set a high standard of what is means to be a manager and I am very proud for what she does on and off the field.”

Ryan Pool – Senior Quarterback

“Ryan Pool is a winner. He is highly respected in this locker room and by his teammates. I am very proud of Pool. He started 25 games at quarterback and he is a leader. Players like him just represent this class for what it is.”

Alex Lyon – Senior Split End/Defensive Back

“Everybody sees what Alex did on the field in his only year of football, but what is most impressive about a kid who plays three sports at White House is how he conducted himself fitting into this team. He is very quiet and was a very big part of what we did this season and the team did a great job accepting him.”

A.J. Allison – Fullback

“A.J. was having a really good year and became an impact player for us at fullback and then he suffered another injury kept him out for the remainder of the regular season. After he worked so hard to come back from ACL surgery, I was so proud of him and thankful for what he did for us on the field and it’s hard to see him hurt. He’s a great kid.”

Alex Felts – Senior Tailback

“Alex Felts played hurt the entire year, but he made a determined effort to keep getting back on the field and he is a tough kid. He really ran the ball hard and like a lot of these kids came so far from where we were at fall camp. I was so disappointed for him that he was just 15 yards of getting 1,000 yards for the season before he was injured Friday night but he did get that for his career.”

Lane Spivey – Fullback/Defensive End

“Lane is an unselfish player and he did everything we asked him to do, whether that was switching numbers to play the offensive line and then switching back to fullback for his final game. He was tough and he never complained about what we needed him to do and I am very proud of him.”

Jamie Futch – Linebacker

“Futch is a consistent player. He steps up and makes plays every time he is on the field and every time we called on him he came in and made a difference. He started some at linebacker, but he was also key for us on special teams. Jamie is a great kid and he plays hard.”

Taylor Wood – Fullback/Linebacker

“He is a three-year starter and a student of the game and plays with such great intensity and he represents our school for exactly what a football game should be. He’s such a special kid, plays with a high motor and I think he is a great example of younger players who may have been told they can never be successful because they don’t fit the prototypical size. He has achieved big things and I am glad he gets to play one more game to represent our school in the All-Star game.”

Bailey Burns – Tailback/Linebacker

“Bailey is unselfish and he was a big help to our football team wherever we put him. He was asked during his career to move around some on defense and he just kept playing hard and making a difference, and then you saw how hard he ran that last game when he was given the opportunity to step in again at tailback for an injury. Bailey was a critical part of our success.”

Chance Lamberth – Kicker

“Chance is a fantastic kid and he became a tremendous weapon for us as a kickoff person. He is Coach (Mark) Lamberth’s son, and his dad was tough as a player and what is great about Chance is how he was not only a great kicker, but he became a great cover guy for us and he was not afraid to get in there and make a tackle.”

Wesley James – Tight End/Defensive End & Back

“Wesley has always been a big play guy, and he made some huge catches at critical times for us this season, and some big tackles on defense. But for all the big things that people see about Wesley and the big plays he makes and stats he has, what is best are the things that people do not see, and the blocking he makes that was critical to our offense.”

Hunter Willbanks – Offensive Line/Defensive Line

“Hunter is such a consistent kid for us. He is a great young man and was great for us in practice and whatever we asked him to do on the field, and was a key for us on special teams. Hunter represented our school and our community well as a player.”

Wyatt Bailey – Offensive Line/Defensive Line

“Wyatt started for two years and for all that he is as a football player, he is one of the kindest kids that I know. More coaches that I know express respect for him than many of the kids that we would know. He is a tremendous player and a tremendous kid.”

Corey Cantrell – Center/Defensive End

“Corey was such a key for us and definitely the leader on offense at center, and he made such a tremendous difference in the offensive line. But what is most impressive about Corey is for him to be able to play football and do so with Type-1 Diabetes is a credit to him and how he takes care of his body, and a credit to our medical staff and how they take care of our kids during the season.”

Tyler Ellis – Split End/Defensive Back

“Ellis is such a joy to watch and to coach. To see him have the kind of year he had and become one of the most consistent players that we had after not playing very much before this year is really great. Tyler became a big play guy and he played hard and played physical.”

Austin Browne – Tight End/Defensive End

“It was so good to watch him because Austin played hurt, and he fought back, and he did his job when he was on the field taking on blocks. He is a motivated kid and a vocal leader and he kept fighting back every time he had an opportunity to get on the field. He worked hard.”

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