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OUR VIEW: Kristian Story should be Mr. Football

Congratulations to the Lanett High Panthers for winning its second football championship in three years.

It’s a great accomplishment that brings recognition to the community and a feel-good sense through the coming year. Lanett and all of Chambers County has reason to be proud of what the Panthers did this year. The guys in black and gold have really put us on the map.

Thursday’s championship game against a Mars Hill Bible team may have been one of the best games of senior quarterback Kristian Story’s extraordinary high school career. He was the slam-dunk winner of the game’s most valuable player award after passing for nearly 250 yards, two touchdown passes and 110 yards rushing and two more scores.

On defense, Story ended two Mars Hill threats, one with a fumble recovery and another with the game-clinching interception.

Kristian is a class young man who truly loves the Panthers. In the post-game interview, he said it was really going to be tough to take off that Lanett uniform for the final time.

In three years as the team’s starting quarterback, Kristian had more than 13,000 total yards and 175 touchdowns. These are Alabama high school records that will be exceedingly difficult for anyone to break. He’s the only player in the state ever to have more than 13,000 yards. No one else has 170 touchdowns.

For what he has done both on and off the field, we believe Kristian Story deserves to be 2019’s Mr. Football in the state. We’re not sure how it could be anybody else.

This award has been given annually since 1982. Past winners include young men who have gone on to outstanding careers in college and NFL. This past year’s winner was Bo Nix, Auburn’s current starting quarterback. Like Kristian, he led his high school team, Pinson Valley, to two state championships while setting state records for passing yardage, 12,505, and touchdowns, 161.

It’s incredible how little old Lanett High keeps on winning state championships. In the last decade, they have won two state titles in track, three in boys’ basketball and two in football. We are proud of you, Lanett and we wish success as well to all seven teams in the region.

However, the entire area should lobby for the Mr. Football crown to come to Lanett and put a defining cap on an excellent career to seems destined to continue as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.