Friday, January 22, 2010

The Honors Continue For Blanchard

This is from

BIRMINGHAM -- Cherokee County quarterback Coty Blanchard led his team to its first state title this season, winning the Class 4A championship as the Warriors finished as the AHSAA's only 15-0 squad.

He added an exclamation point -- for himself and his team -- on Wednesday.

Blanchard won the 2009 Mr. Football award by edging Demopolis running back DaMarcus James in the closest voting in the award's 28-year history.

Blanchard passed for 2,916 yards and 35 touchdowns and ran for another 1,161 and 20 TDs in 2009 to become the first Cherokee County player named Mr. Football.

"It's been a magical year," he said moments after receiving the award. "To get it, it tops everything -- everything besides winning a state championship.

"Nothing is better than my teammates back home."

But the day was bittersweet for the Jacksonville State commitment.

Blanchard's father, Fran, was unable to attend the ceremony after undergoing emergency abdominal surgery earlier this week. Blanchard's maternal grandparents teared up and hugged one another as Coty Blanchard's name was announced as Mr. Football, while Cherokee County coach Tripp Curry hastily sent text messages to Fran Blanchard.

"I know it's killing him not to be here," Curry said.

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