Two Panthers in contention for prestigious awards

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

LANETT — Terrion “Ty” Truitt and Baraskious “Booroc” Dowdell helped propel the Lanett High School football team to its first state playoff title in December.

Truitt, an athlete, used his speed throughout the season to torch opposing defenses. Dowdell, a defensive end, leveraged his strength to terrorize opposing offenses.

Now, the seniors are in contention for a pair of the state’s most prestigious accolades.

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Truitt and Dowdell discovered on Sunday that they are finalists for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A back and lineman of the year awards. The two will travel to Montgomery on Jan. 17 with Panthers head coach Clifford Story to learn their fate at the ASWA’s Player of the Year Luncheon.

“I wasn’t surprised because both of them had a tremendous year for us,” Story said. “Booroc on defense and Terrion on offense, they were both a very integral part of our success we had this year.”

Truitt shined at a handful of positions throughout the fall, sparking an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game en route to a 15-0 season. He lined up at wide receiver, running back and returner, in addition to cornerback.

Truitt finished the year with 33 touchdowns and 3,014 total yards.

Dowdell also surfaced on both sides of the ball. On offense, he spent time at fullback and tackle. But it was at defensive end that he truly made a name for himself. Dowdell finished the season with 105 total tackles — 21 for loss —  14 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He helped anchor a defensive unit that surrendered fewer than 13 points per contest.

Dowdell will contend with Horseshoe Bend linebacker Parker Branch and Leroy offensive lineman John Karr for 2A Lineman of the Year. Truitt will contend with Fyffe running back Payton Anderson and St. Luke’s athlete Jermaine Brown for 2A Back of the Year.

As a product of their nominations, Truitt and Dowdell also are finalists for the state’s Mr. Football award.

The pair joins a growing list of Panthers who have been considered for the honor since Story took over as head coach in 2009. Former running back Marlon Bridges was named a back of the year candidate in 2013, and former defensive end Travon Mathis was named a lineman of the year candidate in 2016.

Last season, LaFayette’s JaTarvious Whitlow and Fyffe’s Tyler Wilhelm were named the 2A back and lineman of the year, respectively.

Lanett’s two stars could be the next men up.

“It’s a great honor for them, and I’m very pleased as a coach to be able to take them down to Montgomery to represent our school system,” Story said.