By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
More than a month after garnering recognition from the Alabama Sports Writers Association and local media members for his performance during the 2012 football season, Cullman High quarterback Zac Crocker received his biggest piece of hardware to date, roping in Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year honors at the Fox 6 Sideline All-Stars Banquet on Jan. 28.
Crocker was accompanied by Bearcat head coach Mark Britton, offensive coordinator Kenny Gleaton and quarterbacks coach Ty Campbell for the snazzy awards ceremony in Birmingham, where he received a hefty trophy in front of a star-studded crowd that included the Philadelphia Eagles’ Demeco Ryans, who served as a guest speaker.
“It was really exciting,” Britton said of the suit-and-tie event. “You look around the state and you see all these great young men being recognized. Zac is definitely a fine young man, definitely deserving of the award.”
Crocker closed out his two-year stint as Cullman’s starting signal-caller with 4,630 yards and 48 touchdowns on 417-of-600 passing, which was good for a completion percentage of 69.5. With Troy Forrest, Houston Turner, Wesley Hendrix and Mason Jones at his disposal at wide receiver, the signal-caller led the Black and Gold to the second round of the postseason in 2011 and the third round in 2012.
“We had a 10-3 year where I don’t think many people around the state thought we were going to be that successful,” Britton said. “I really attribute that to our senior class and kids like Zac Crocker. I’m really going to miss him. We were privileged to have him as our quarterback.”
Aside from the physical attributes Crocker brought to the field, Britton said he’ll miss the senior’s leadership qualities more than anything else. Having a quarterback who practically doubles as an assistant coach on the field, was rarely shaken up and always in command was a coach’s dream come true for Britton.
“He had the ability to make players around him better, and I think that’s a great tribute to a quarterback,” the coach said. “That’s an intangible you can’t measure with stats. He’s definitely a winner, and your program will benefit from guys like that.”
Crocker was among a list of notable student-athletes from all over Alabama honored by Fox 6 at the banquet. Other winners included Berry’s Terrance Hollingsworth (1A), Fultondale’s ArDarius Stewart (2A), Hamilton’s Mitch Stults (3A), St. Clair County’s Kartez Carr (4A) and Spain Park’s Nick Mullens (6A).
The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Fox 6 this Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.