NHS Chiefs celebrate season at banquet
Members of the 2012 Florida Class 1A State Champion Northivew Chiefs’ football team, cheerleading squad and dance team were recognized during a banquet Monday night in the school’s cafeteria.
“It’s a great time to be a Northview Chief,” said coach Sid Wheatley. “It was a very special season.”
Wheatley thanked his fellow coaches, players and the community for the championship run after eight years at the school and four years as head football coach.
“I have seen this community grow,” Wheatley said. “No one follows programs like Northview does – like this community. Friday night is an event.”
He used the championship game in Orlando as an example of the community support.
“The Citrus Bowl was filled with 2,000 people from the Brat community, Molino and Davisville,” he said. “It means a lot and you mean a lot to us.”
The banquet included a motivational speech by Century native and 14-year National Football League veteran Anthony Pleasant.
Pleasant, a two-time Superbowl winning defensive end, told the players that there are certain traits that make up champions.
He said not to worry so much about role models, but instead worry about real models, which are family members, teachers and others who can impact life directly.
As an example, Pleasant used his mother, who assumed a fatherly role as well when his dad died when he was 2 years old. He recalled how she made him go to church on Sundays and molded his character.
“She was firm with me,” he said. “She taught me how to respect authority.”
Pleasant reflected on his time at Tennessee State and how it prepared him for life in the NFL and beyond.
“All the hard coaching I received in high school prepared me for Tennessee State and Tennessee State prepared me for the NFL,” he said. “I was able to play 14 years in the NFL because of Tennessee State University.”
Among the traits for a champion he told the players and their families in attendance to “take care of your bodies.”
“Don’t burn the candle at both ends,” he said.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive line coach said take responsibility for actions and “don’t blame others.” He compared relationships as bridges.
“Relationships are important,” he said. “Don’t burn your bridges. I couldn’t be coaching in the NFL without relationships.”
He also touched on the importance of character and how it would help later in life.
“Your character will always follow you,” he said.
The former third round pick of the Cleveland Browns told the players to continue to act like champions off the field in every day life.
“You are champions,” he said. “Conduct yourselves like champions. Don’t live your life as a chump.”
Wheatley and the coaching staff also recognized the team and gave out awards for individual players.
The first award of the night, the Orange Bowl Committee Scholar Athlete award went to Justin Halteman.
The team player award went to Lamikeal Banks and the spirit award went to Kahlil Grice. Skyler Macks was given the coaches award while LaDarius Thomas was given the newcomer award.
The Mr. versatile award went to Arkelle Elliott and Jaron Myles. Dalton Daniel took home the Mr. tenacity award. The chief award went to Trey Johnson.
The defensive anchor award went to La’Quan Thomas and Kevin Vaughan was named the team’s outstanding passer. Jeffery Taylor and Cameron Newsome won the most improved award.
The team’s academic award went to Halteman and the gamechanger award went to Neino Robinson. The iron man award went to Logan Weber and Tyler Roley. The team leader award went to Chad Smith.
The team’s outstanding linebackers were Roderick Woods and Cory Baggett, while the team’s outstanding defensive lineman was Stetson Nash. The outstanding defensive back was Neino Robinson.
The team’s outstanding wide receiver was Brannon Freeman and the outstanding offensive linemen were Blake McCall and La’Derious Franklin. The team’s outstanding offensive back went to LaMikal Kyles.
Wheatley and the coaching staff also gave an award to the senior class. As a class, the players have won 37 games in four years.
“We’re going to miss these guys,” Wheatley said. “It’s now up to our younger guys; learn from what they showed you.”