There was more than one winner of the James Street Sportsmanship Award this year.
Try 14 winners.
The winners of the award were Little Rock Central's Keeling Baker, Little Rock Fair's Henry Brooks V, Little Rock Hall's Dondrevion Huggins, Little Rock McClellan's Damion Martin Jr., Little Rock Parkview's Keshun Carroll, Joe T. Robinson's Andrew Johnson, Mills' Davion Geter, Baptist Prep's Jackson Leavitt, Episcopal Collegiate's Boyd Bethel, Little Rock Catholic's Kyle Fogleman, Little Rock Christian's Grant McElmurry, Pulaski Academy's Wesley Coleman, Southwest Christian Academy's Bryce Allen and David Merriman from the Arkansas School for the Deaf.
"This was a very tough decision," Little Rock Touchdown Club founder David Bazzel said. "I made an executive decision. I could not feel comfortable with giving one award. We're going to name all of these guys James Street Award winners this year."
The award, named for the late quarterback at the University of Texas, honors a football player at a Little Rock high school who exhibits outstanding sportsmanship toward teammates, coaches and opponents.
Players were nominated by their head coaches.
Each player received $500 for being nominated, and they'll each receive a portion of the $1,000 winning check that is given to the winner.
When Street died in 2013, Bazzel met with former University of Arkansas football player Bruce James and former Texas player Bob McKay to find a way to honor the quarterback.
Street visited Little Rock 25 days before his death for a documentary premiere for The Big Shootout, which was played in 1969 between Texas and Arkansas in Fayetteville. Texas won 15-14 in a game that was attended by then-President Richard Nixon.
Street, who thought he was still hated by several Razorbacks fans, was moved by the reaction of the fans at the premiere and told his former teammates and friends how appreciative he was of it.
Past award winners include Little Rock Parkview's Dominique Scott (2014), Joe T. Robinson's Tonda Bullock (2015), Little Rock Christian's Henley Bland (2016) and Little Rock McClellan's Tommy Crumpton III (2017).
Street's friend and teammate at Texas, Bill Hall, paid tribute to Street on Monday
"James Street was a winner in football and in life until the day he died," Hall said. "For the boys who are recognized today, following in his footsteps is a great path to success."
Former Texas football coach Mack Brown appreciates the award and what it stands for.
"It's special. It's unique," Brown said. "This isn't about the best player. It's about the best kid and their accomplishments.
"James was passionate. He loved life. He was crazy. If he was here, he'd be loud and having fun and picking on all of you. He'd be telling jokes. He cared about what was right. He is smiling in Heaven over this."
Sports on 11/13/2018
Print Headline: Fourteen receive sportsmanship award