Little Rock McClellan senior running back and linebacker Tommy Crumpton III received the James Street Award on Monday afternoon.
The award, named for the late quarterback at the University of Texas, honors a football player who exhibits outstanding sportsmanship toward teammates, coaches and opponents.
Crumpton was honored with the Street Award during the Little Rock Touchdown Club's luncheon at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock. He joins Dominique Scott of Little Rock Parkview (2014), Tonda Bullock of Joe T. Robinson (2015) and Henley Bland of Little Rock Christian (2016) as Street Award winners.
"He's a great kid to be around," McClellan Coach Maurice Moody said. "Great teammate. A leader for us. He's a co-captain. He's a solid individual.
"He's a darn good football player. But he's a better person."
The nominees along with Crumpton were Little Rock Central's Bobby Brown, Little Rock Fair's Kalik Brazle, Little Rock Hall's Jonathan Aquino, Little Rock Parkview's Zachery Smith, Joe T. Robinson's Andrew Williams, Mills' Richard Rodgers, Baptist Prep's Tyler Holmes, Episcopal Collegiate's Rodney Rice, Little Rock Catholic's Austin Bisceglia, Little Rock Christian's Travis Henderson, Pulaski Academy's Hayden Cobb and Southwest Christian Academy's Dylan Houston.
Players were nominated by their head coaches.
Crumpton has been part of McClellan's football success the past couple of years. He has scored 12 touchdowns this season for the Crimson Lions (8-3), who'll travel to Alma on Friday for the Class 5A quarterfinals. With Crumpton on the team, McClellan has won five playoff games since 2015 and reached the Class 5A state championship game against Pulaski Academy when he was a sophomore.
However, Crumpton's life off the football field has been a tough one in recent years.
In July 2014, Crumpton lost his sister Tomikymbria to congestive heart failure before he entered the ninth grade at McClellan. Tomikymbria was 20.
Then, in November 2014, Crumpton's father Tommy Jr., died at 44 of a massive heart attack.
"My father and sister meant everything to me," said Crumpton, who is the youngest of eight children in the Crumpton family.
When he nominated Crumpton for the Street Award, Moody said to the award committee that he didn't expect God to prepare him to be a father figure for Crumpton.
But before Tommy Jr. died, he asked Moody to help take care of his son. It's been a rewarding experience, Moody said.
"He said, 'Coach, take care of my son,'" Moody said. "I promised him I would do that. I don't take that type of thing lightly. I treat him like he's my own. I discipline him and give him tough love. It's just one of those things where I had to do that. I take pride in being a father figure not just to him, but to all of my boys."
Crumpton, who lives with his mother La'Kim, wears No. 20 in honor of how many years his sister lived. He's also paid tribute to his father with his play for the Crimson Lions.
"I've dedicated every practice, every game to him. I didn't take it for granted," Crumpton said. "I'm on the field helping my brothers fight to get to the state championship and win a state championship."
Moody's impact on Crumpton and the Crimson Lions' program has been big, he said.
"Coach Moody has done great things on Geyer Springs Road," said Crumpton, referring to McClellan's Little Rock location. "He's changed the stigma of the school.
"I love him. He's supported me from the moment my father passed. He's been keeping me on the up path. He means everything to me."
Crumpton has inspired Moody as well.
"He's been through a lot, with the adversity and tragedy," Moody said. "Through all of that, he's down to earth. He's great in the classroom. He's been a good son and a good football player. I couldn't be prouder."
Sports on 11/14/2017
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