By Kris Freeman for White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – The White House High School football team honored its players and the 2020 season on Sunday in a short banquet held at the school gymnasium. (Scroll to bottom for Photo Gallery)
Senior Layne Jenkins took home three awards at the banquet including a permanent team captain designation, winning the B.D.P. Award and the Academic Award. Fellow senior Drew Ferrell was also named a team captain and received the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.
Jenkins, a defensive back and wide receiver, had 43 tackles with seven passes broken up, two fumble recoveries and two fumbles caused, and one interception on defense and another on special teams. He also had two receptions on offense and has a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Ferrell was a starter at offensive line and defensive end, and the three-year starting defender had 42 tackles with eight tackles for losses, and two defensive touchdowns, one a pick six return and the other a blocked punt to the end zone.
Junior running back Ranen Blackburn was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player and a team captain alongside teammate and classmate Spencer Noah. The junior lineman took home a captain award after missing the majority of the season with a leg injury.
Blackburn rushed 232 times for 1,477 yards and 10 touchdowns, and became the 7th all-time leading rusher in school history headed into his senior season with 2,891 career rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns. Blackburn was part of an offense that rushed for 2,180 yards, and he also completed 29-of-71 passes for 548 yards and six touchdowns. Noah was a starting offensive tackle but had his season cut short against Franklin Road Academy, but will be back for his senior year.
Senior fullback and linebacker Evan Shankle, who played and started in all three phases of the game for two years for the Blue Devils, was named the team’s overall Most Valuable Player.
Shankle rushed 75 times for 374 yards and two touchdowns, including two 100-yard games in place of an injured Blackburn. But the hard-nosed linebacker led the defense in tackles for the second straight year, with 124 stops and 13 tackles for losses with four passes broken up and five quarterback hurries.
Junior defensive back Matthew Miller took home the Sully Award, named in honor of former University of Tennessee linemen Cody and Cory Sullins from White House, and presented in a picturesque frame featuring legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
Miller had 23 tackles on defense in a spot role, including a season high 16 in one game. He also had an interception.
Senior lineman Quad Lucas received the Eric Blaylock Sportsmanship Award and senior tight end Cole Hollinsworth was presented with the Gourley Award. Both are considered prestigious awards given for character, sportsmanship and integrity on and off the field, in honor of former White House athletes Eric Blaylock and Wayne Gourley.
Lucas anchored the offensive and defensive lines, and had 20 tackles with three tackles for losses as a senior. Hollinsworth was a starter on special teams and worked his way into a starting offensive role at tight end for many series at the end of the season.
Freshman Dre Cotton received the Scout Team Award.
The Blue Devils finished 4-7, but rebounded from losing six of their first eight games to win the final two and qualify for the postseason. White House’s season ended in Lexington in the first round of the Class 4-A state playoffs, but the Tigers are still alive in the state quarterfinals after beating the Blue Devils, 34-7.
Photos by Kris Freeman for White House BDP