Awards

LEON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL AWARDS

BOBBY BENSEN - MVP AWARD

This is the oldest named award given by Leon High School football. Bobby Benson was a 1937 Leon High School graduate who died in his first year of college of pneumonia. The award was established by Mrs. Milford Wilfong, a Leon High School English teacher who thought so much of Bobby Benson as a student that she wanted to establish this award in his memory. Bobby Benson was one of the finest football players who ever played at Leon High School and he played for Leon's legendary Coach Amos Godby on Leon High's 1937 State Championship team. The football field at Leon is named in his honor.

RICKY NIXON DEFENSIVE BACK AWARD

This award is given in honor of Ricky Nixon who was a 1984 graduate of Leon High School. Ricky was a very tough defensive back for the Lions who played with a great deal of heart and loved Leon football. He died in a tragic car accident while returning to college, ironically, after coming home to watch a Leon/LincoLn football game.

BERNARD MILLER OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINE AWARD

Coach Miller began his coaching career at Leon High School and was very well respected not only by coaches and players, but also the community. He epitomized the best attributes in coaching; a positive role model, successful teacher, counselor, motivator and mentor. He died suddenly and tragically after a few years into his career at Leon High.

ALFROD-SESSIONS AWARD

This defensive award is given every year in memory of Jimmy Alford and Billy Sessions who died in a tragic car accident on their graduation night in 1963. The Class of 1963 established this award the following year. Jimmy Alford and Billy Sessions are remembered as fine young men who loved playing football for Leon High School.

CHAD WHETSEL SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD

This award is given annually to the Leon football player who demonstrates great sportsmanship on and off the field. This award is given in the memory of Chad, who died of cancer after a long and courageous battle while attending Leon High. It was in the last stage of this battle that Chad graduated with his class in 1989. Chad is remembered by all of us, for showing great courage and a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

SPODIE KINDERMAN 101% AWARD

This award is given once a year to the football player who truly gives 101% effort all of the time, for his teammates. Spodie was a bright young man who played football from 1979-1981. He typified what it meant to put everything you have into your efforts every day. Spodie fought hard, but died of cancer before his senior season. This award was established by Jim Dearth, M.D., who tended to Spodie through his illness.

THE GENE COX MEMORIAL AWARD

This award is sponsored by the Leon Football Hall of Fame and given in honor of the legendary Leon football coach, Gene Cox. Gene Cox coached at Leon for 28 years and won two state championships (1969, 1974). In 1987, he won his 259th game making him the state's all-time winning high school coach at the time. In 1977, Cox started the Leon Football Hall of Fame. The Leon County Schools Football Stadium is named in his honor. Cox was known for his strong work ethic, competitive spirit, character, demanding expectations, wisdom, fairness, and love of Leon football.

THE JIMMY HANNA MEMORIAL AWARD

This honor was created as a tribute to Jimmy Hanna, a 1960 Alumnus of Leon High School. Jimmy was an outstanding Leon linebacker in the late 1950's. Since those days, his life was one of devotion to God and family, and dedicated to helping young athletes become better people. The award is given every year following Spring practice to a football player who has given the most of himself during the Spring when no band was playing, no cheerleaders were cheering, and when there were no victories to be won.