Coach enjoys Davidson Academy's big day

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 12:03am
Nipper-Hancock award winners, announced Wednesday, are: (Back row, from left) Jarrell Hyde of Hunters Lane, Spencer Goodwin and coach Paul Wade of Davidson; (front, from left) Vanderbilt's Thomas Welch, Ensworth's Myers Beaird, TSU's Marquez Hall.

It was big day for Davidson Academy’s football team .

First, Coach Paul Wade was named coach of the year, then senior Spencer Goodwin was the school’s winner at the annual Nashville Civitan Nipper-Hancock Sportsmanship awards, presented Wednesday following a luncheon at Swett’s Restaurant.

“Spencer had a wonderful influence on our team, and I’m so glad the Civitan recognizes young men like him,’’ said Wade, who guided his team to the state semifinals after winning titles three of the four years prior.

“He was the quarterback of our defense, and he scored a touchdown in our ’08 championship game (on a trick play in the opening quarter),’’ which led to our winning (19-14 over Harding Academy),’’ the coach said.

Goodwin, a strong safety and tight end for the Bears, played on two Div. II state championship teams before they lost in the semifinals in November. He acknowledged that his freshman year was trying.

“It was tough early on when I was pretty small and got the worst of it when we started hitting,’’ he said. “Then I got my growth spurt, and I was stronger got better at it.

“Looking back, it was a great four years, we won two state championships, but more importantly, I established some great relationships with my teammates,’’ said Goodwin who will attend Tennessee, but not to play football. “This (sportsmanship award) is just a culmination of all that.’’

Goodwin is an excellent three-sport athlete, also playing on the basketball and baseball teams for the Bears.

About being named as coach of the year, Wade said, “it’s a product of having a lot of good players, who are motivated and fun to coach and having a great staff.’’

Like Goodwin, playing multiple sports is fine with Jarrell Hyde, the recipient from Hunters Lane which won the Region 6-6A title. Hyde competes in the less likely trio of the sports football, wrestling and soccer.

“Whatever is in the current season,’’ he smiled when asked the question of what his favorite sport was.

“I like football because of all the comraderie we had on the team, everyone got along so well,’’ said Hyde who played left guard and defensive tackle and was long snapper. “I like to wrestle, and soccer as well. I really like watching Ronaldo (Brazilian star) play, I’ve tried to pattern my game like him.’’

“I have never coached a better kid in terms of sportsmanship and getting along with teammates, coaches, everyone,’’ said Coach Richard Campbell.

Also named sportsmanship winners were Myers Beaird from Div. II-Middle Region champ Ensworth and Marquez Lindsey from Region 11-4A champ Maplewood.

Marquez Hall (Tennessee State) and Thomas Welch (Vanderbilt) were college winners.

The award, named for the late Walter Nipper and A.D. Hancock who were Civitan members and supporters of the awards, is presented to players off region championship football teams in the Nashville area as well as Nashville colleges that play football.

In a related matter, Mr. Football winner Nick Pollard of Father Ryan has committed to Tennessee Tech.

“It looked like the best fit for me,’’ said Pollard who was also recruited heavily by UT-Chattanooga and Purdue. “I had a really good visit up there and got along very well with the special teams coach and with (head coach) Watson Brown.

Pollard had an outstanding senior season after which he won the TSSAA Kicker of the Year award for all classifications at the Mr. Football banquet on Nov. 30.