Blue Devil’s attitude earns award

Published 8:55 am Monday, December 13, 2010

Blue Devils senior Jonathan Stallworth was honored with the Challenger Award on Monday night in Pensacola, Fla.|Photo by Chandler Myers

As a player for the Escambia County Blue Devils football team, Jonathan Stallworth put in the work necessary to be a part of the Blue Devils’ run to the AHSAA quarterfinals this season.

Stallworth, a senior defensive lineman, made every summer workout and practice this season and his attitude towards that work earned him the right to represent his team as a Challenger Award recipient.

The Challenger Award is an award given to athletes at area schools who exemplify a Christ-like attitude in athletics as well as off the field.

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Stallworth said that he was excited to be recognized with the award.

“I’m extremely honored to be awarded something like this,” he said. “It’s for players who exemplify Christ on and off the field and I always try to show good sportsmanship during practices and games.”

Stallworth’s worth ethic is something he attempted to show he had no matter what situation presented itself.

The senior Blue Devil said no matter what, he always did what he could do to help his team.

“I’m always willing to go the extra mile,” he said. “If they needed an extra player for a drill in practice, I would try to help out.”

Stallworth’s coach also sees the work that Stallworth is willing to put in.

Blue Devils head coach Mark Heaton said if anyone deserved the Challenger Award then it was Stallworth.

“He’s very deserving of the honor,” Heaton said. “Jonathan has been here everyday and has never missed a workout. He never complains about anything and most importantly, he has a great relationship with Christ. He exemplifies that every day. He brings a lot of light to this team and he has been a blessing for me to be around.”

When it comes to worshipping Christ, Stallworth attends New Regeneration Holiness Church at their locations in Atmore, Stapleton and Century, Fla.

When he is at church, he looks to lend a helping hand wherever he might be needed.

Stallworth said he’ll often lend a hand as an usher or even with helping prepare food.

“I work as an usher sometimes and if they need help with cooking, I’m always glad to help out,” he said.

As an athlete, Stallworth also wants to show younger athletes how to be respectful on the field of play.

He said his advice to them is to always show the best sportsmanship possible and be just as respectful off the field.

“I would tell a younger player to just always be respectful of everyone from peers to elders,” Stallworth said. “In a game, if someone hits you late or the referee makes a bad call, don’t get up and act mad just play your hardest on the next play and do your best. If you do that, in time it will come back to you.”