The 2013 Johnny Seabrooks Co-Players of the Year for boys track & field are Monroe's Kevin Williams, left, and Terrell County's Jerkerious Scott, right. The duo, who each won state titles this past season, were joined for their POY photo by girls winner, Ashley Harrell from Monroe. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It was some kind of hybrid between a jog and a walk.
Call it a Jalk, the Jerkerious Jalk.
But whatever you call Jerkerious Scott's courageous and painful 200-meter effort in the boys Class A state Track & Field Championships, the memory will linger for years at Terrell County, where Scott helped lift the track & field program to heights that were unimagined.
Scott's season and performance in the state meet landed him next to Kevin Williams, who had a monster state meet for Monroe, scoring 22 points by himself in the Class AAAA state meet.
The Herald almost never has Co-Players of the Year in any sport, but there are rare exceptions and this is one of them. It was impossible not to honor both young men, and Williams and Scott are The Herald's 2013 Johnny Seabrooks Co-Players of the Year for track & field.
Scott's performance was inspirational. Terrell County doesn't even have a track to practice on. The kids run in the parking lot, which is marked off for different events. But the Greenwave had aspirations of winning their first state team title with a team that was led by Scott, a senior who qualified for the 100-meter and 200-meter finals. He also anchored both relay teams, which qualified for the finals.
Scott led the 4x100 relay team to a third-place finish at the state meet. He won the 100-meter dash, but he pulled his hamstring during the race and fought to finish the final 10 meters in pain, holding on to win the title in 11.2 seconds.
There was no way Scott could compete in the 200 meters, right? But he entered the race knowing if he finished dead last he would still earn a team point for Terrell County, which was in a battle with Commerce for first place.
“He couldn't run at all. He could barely walk,” Terrell County coach Carlos Diaz said. “But he wanted to get the team the point.”
So Scott limped onto the track and barely jogged, then he walked his way around the 200 meters to finish the race. Another runner was disqualified so Scott ended up finishing seventh to add two points to Terrell's total. He collapsed at the end of the race and his teammates came onto the track to help carry him off of it in a riveting moment that said everything anyone needed to know about the Terrell County track & field program — and Scott.
Scott couldn't run in the 4x400 relay, but the Greenwave entered the race needing to finish third to capture the team title. The kids from Dawson were in second place, but ended the race in a bizarre finish when Rokeem Johnson had a dizzy spell and thought he saw two finish lines. He thought he had finished the race and went to the infield. But he was three feet short of the finish line and the 4x400 relay team was disqualified. Terrell County finished second to Commerce (58 to 52½). The second place finish in the relay would have given the Greenwave eight points and a history-making team state title.
“It was heartbreaking,” Scott said of the ending.
Still, Scott's effort and his leadership defined Terrell County's season.
“He was the leader. He was the glue,” Diaz said of Scott. “All the kids looked up to him, and when he went out there and ran the 200 meters (injured), I think everyone looked up to him even more.”
Scott, also an electric quarterback who was a finalist for The Herald's Player of the Year in football, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. But he cherishes his days on the track.
“I think we had a great season,” he said. “It was a great ride. It was crazy the way it played out and we didn't get to win the state title, but we went from not being respected to being respected this year. We went from having no respect to being intimidating. People were scared to run against us.”
Scott helped put Terrell County's track & field program on the map, and that will last forever.
“I just had to go out there for the 200,” he said. “I told my coaches that we needed the point, and I had to do it.”
Williams had his own inspirational and unforgettable performance at the state meet. He was Monroe. Williams scored every point for the Tornadoes, who finished 11th in the team competition in the 39-team field. Williams outscored 27 of the teams by himself.
“I just wanted to have a good day,” said Williams, who had an incredible one. “I wanted to win all three, but it was hard on my legs going from one (event) to the other. But I think I had a good day.”
Williams had to compete in the long jump, triple jump and high jump on the same day and had to move from one event to the other not longer after one of the others ended. Still, he managed to soar all afternoon.
He won the long jump state title with a leap of 23 feet, 9¾ inches and almost pulled off a double in the triple jump, where he finished second with a running jump of 45 feet and eight inches. He finished tied at 6 feet, 4 inches with the third-best high jump, and he only finished fifth because of the number of attempts.
“I really wanted to have a strong season in track this year,” said Wiliams, who is also one of the top receivers in Southwest Georgia. He was a big reason Monroe's football team made a run in the playoffs and not only led the Tornadoes in receiving with 53 receptions for 1,018 yards, but he also ran two punts and a kickoff back for touchdowns.
It was no coincidence that when Williams signed a scholarship to play football at St. Augustine (N.C.) that he had the track & field program in mind.
“They have a good track & field program there, and that's one of the reasons I liked it there,” said Williams, who plans on competing in track & field in college.
He’ll shine no matter what he does.
“Kevin doesn't even realize how good he can be yet,” Monroe assistant track coach Paul Jones said. “When he gets to college, he is going to have a chance to work on things and get even better than he is today.
“Kevin's a natural. He is just a natural athlete and he worked hard this year to get better. He wanted to win a state title and he went to the state meet and had an incredible day, scoring 22 points by himself. He topped off a great season with a great state meet.”
2013 HERALD ALL-AREA BOYS TRACK & FIELD TEAM:
Jackie Childs, Sr., Westover
(Herald Player of the Year runner-up)
Why he’s here: Why he’s here: He won the Region 1-AAAA title in the 300 and 110 hurdles and then won the Class AAAA state title in the 110’s and finished eighth in the state in the 300.
Don Mills, Sr., Westover
g Why he’s here: Finished sixth in the Class AAAA state in the discus and was eighth in the shot put.
Bryton Wenzel, Sr., Baconton
Why he’s here: Had an incredible season and won the Class A state title in the 800, was the state runner-up in the 1,600 and finished fifth in the state in the discus.
Micah Williams, Sr., Terrell County
Why he’s here: Won region titles in the discus and shot put and was the Class A state runner-up in the discus and finished eighth in the shot put at state.
Michael Cooper, So., Terrell County
Why he’s here: Was the Region 1-A champ in the 110 hurdles and was the state runner-up in the Class A state meet.
Ismael Hayes, Sr., Terrell County
Why he’s here: Was the Region 1-A champ and finished fourth in the 800 in the Class A state meet.
Bernard Lumpkin, Sr., Terrell County
Why he’s here: Was the Region 1-A runner-up in the 200 to teammate and co-Player of the Year Jerkerious Scott, and he finished sixth in the 200 at the Class A state meet.
Jatori Jones, Jr., Terrell County
Why he’s here: Won the Region 1-A and sectional titles in the high jump and finished fifth in the high jump at the Class A state meet.
Tyler Sheffel, Jr., Westover
Why he’s here: Finished seventh in the 800 at the Class AAAA state meet.
Brenton Wimberly, Sr., Westover
Why he’s here: Finished ninth in discus in the Class AAAA state meet.
Juwon Young, Jr., Albany High
Why he’s here: Finished eighth in the discus and 11th in the shot put in the Class AAAA state meet.
Shivam Patel, Sr., Albany High
Why he’s here: Finished sixth in the pole vault in the Class AAAA state meet.
Brentavious Glanton, Sr. Monroe
Why he’s here: Was a leader for Monroe all season and finished ninth in the shot put inn the Class AAAA state meet.
Robert Groom, Fr., Randolph-Clay
Why he’s here: Was one of the biggest surprises of the season and finished second in the state in the 800-meter run in the Class A state meet.
Craig Reddix, Sr., Westover
Why he’s here: Won the Region 1-AAAA title in the 400 meters and finished 12th in the 400 at the Class AAAA state meet.
Quintavious Moran, So., Westover
Why he’s here: Won the Region 1-AAAA title in the pole vault and finished 13th in the Class AAAA state meet.
Dominic Douglas, Jr., Bainbridge
Why he’s here: Won the Region 1-AAAAA title in the high jump and finished 13th at the Class AAAAA state meet.
Chase Harris, So., Bainbridge
Why he’s here:Won the 1,600 and 3,200 titles at the Region 1-AAAAA and finished 10th in the 1,600 and 12th in the 3,200 at the Class AAAAA state meet.
Alton Miller, Sr., Bainbridge
Why he’s here: Won the 400 in the Region 1-AAAAA meet and finished 14th in the 400 at the Class AAAAA state meet.
Christian Drake,Jr., Pelham
Why he’s here: Won the Region 1-AA title in the 100 and finished fourth in the 100 in the Class AA state meet.
Why he’s here:
Why he’s here: Finished fifth in the high jump in the Class AA state meet.
Kenneth Wynn, Jr., Early County
Why he’s here: Finished sixth in the high jump in the Class AA state meet.
Kh’Ron McClain, Sr., Deerfield
Why he’s here: Was the GISA Region 3-AAA champ in the triple jump, the 100 and the 200, and finished third in GISA Class AAA state meet in triple jump, third in the 200 and second in the 100 to help lead DWS to second place in the state.