Chambers’ Lyons, Lanett’s Story recognized at Player of the Year banquet

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

MONTGOMERY — The two nominations for the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) backs of the year from the Greater Valley Area came up empty-handed at this year’s Mr. Football banquet on Tuesday afternoon.

Lanett junior Kristian Story lost in Class 1A to St. Luke’s Jermaine Brown, while Chambers Academy senior C.J. Lyons watched Autauga Academy’s Tripp Carr take home the award for AISA backs.

“I know the result didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but that’s just how things work,” Lanett head football coach Clifford Story Jr. said. “It’s just going to motivate him to come back even harder. I know how he thinks, that’s my child so I know how he feels about things. However, we commend those guys that got here. They are here worthy of the season they’ve had, but I’m proud of him. He’s my son first, and I’m his head coach, but I’m very elated to have him as my child.”

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Both athletes were in their Sunday best for the ceremony. Lyons wore a gray suit, with a black dress shirt and black tie underneath, a gold wristwatch and a gold chain draping over his neck to complete the ensemble. Story dawned the classic tailored black suit, black tie and white shirt combination. When Story’s name was announced as a nomination, his head was down adjusting his outfit as the list of his accomplishments were being read.

“I felt like I had a chance to win, so when I stood up, I wanted to make sure I looked right,” Story said. “When I didn’t win, I wouldn’t say I was mad, but I wanted to win it. I was nominated, however, and many people weren’t. I’m thankful.”

Both Lyons and Story had their family members attend for support. Lyons’ mother, grandmother, brother and former Chambers Academy athlete Malik Lyons sat next to Rebels head football coach Jason Allen while Story’s father, mother, grandfather, little brother, Caden, and assistant coach E.J. Webb were in attendance.

On Wednesday night, Coach Story is hosting a seminar on how local athletes like Story and Lyons can be recruited to play in college. The event is open to families and athletes from all schools in the Valley including Beulah, Chambers, LaFayette, Lanett, Springwood and Valley. The speaker for the seminar is former college coach and recruiting expert Ron Sigler.

“It’s going to afford some of the athletes the opportunity to start early to know what recruiting consists of,” Coach Story said. “So many times, I’ve heard so many people say that they don’t understand this, or they don’t understand that. I just want to offer the opportunity to be able to sit down and talk to someone who has done it for years. [Sigler] can give them the blueprint on what it takes to get their child recruited for academics, what they need to do for NCAA clearinghouse and things like that. We’re providing a platform for them to understand the ins and outs of recruiting so they can get started early, and that they don’t have to put everything on the coach. This also helps them not to put the coach at fault because they already have so many things to focus on a daily basis. This seminar will give them an outlook on what it takes.”

Pinson Valley senior quarterback and Auburn signee Bo Nix was named this year’s Mr. Football.