Thursday, February 10, 2011
Byhalia athletes sign scholarships
By BARRY BURLESON
Derricco Hardaway did not play peewee football.
He didn’t play in junior high either.
His father, Alvin Hardaway, wanted his son to play but after pushing him when he was younger he decided to back off.
He didn’t play as a high school freshman, sophomore or junior either.
“Then he came to me and said, ‘Dad, I want to play my senior year,’ ” Alvin Hardaway said.
Wednesday of last week, on National Signing Day, the defensive tackle from Byhalia High School signed a scholarship with Southwest Mississippi Community College.
“It’s amazing,” coach Markeith Washington said. “He had never played football in his life until his senior year and now he’s able to sign a scholarship. Derrico Hardaway is a success story.”
Coach Washington remembers the day he got the phone call from Alvin Hardaway about his son.
“He told me his son wanted to play football,” Washington said. “He was in the band at the time.
“I told him we would have to toughen him up and get him in shape.
“Then when I saw him I told him if he would do what he is supposed to do, there was a great chance we could get him a college scholarship.”
Last week that goal became a reality.
“He really surprised both of us,” said his mother, Sherry Wiseman. “We’re very proud of him.”
Coach Washington said Derrico Hardaway improved every day.
“He worked hard – got in the weight room,” Washington said. “He handled his business every game.”
The future Southwest Bear said he is excited.
“Now is my time to shine,” he said with a big smile.
Coach Washington, also the schol’s athletic director said he questions sometimes how “we measure success” in high school sports.
“I know everyone looks at wins and losses – and that’s fine,” he said. “But there is a bigger picture. We have to build a foundation for our kids – to get them in college. Success is our children being able to go to college and get an education. That’s how we need to measure success.”
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