Kyler Harrison, 13, the son of Claude and Tracey Harrison of Dallas, recently was the first recipient of the award.
Kyler has been playing football in the league since he was 7 years old, but instead of playing with his age group Kyler had to play with the 11- and 12-year-olds. He weighed 138 pounds, which is over the weight requirement for his age, Harrison said.
The league did not want to let Kyler, a nose guard, play at the age group because it is the highest level they have, he said.
“He held his own then and [has] held his own ever since,” Harrison said. This was Kyler’s final year in the league, and after all of his hard work, determination and leadership skills the league decided to create the award, Harrison said.
“He embodies everything we want to have in a youth football league,” said Jim Black, president of Hiram Hornets Youth Football.
Kyler, a seventh-grader at Dobbins Middle School, said he was excited about the award.
“It is an amazing honor to get an award, but it is even better to get an award named after you,” he said.
The award will be presented every year to a player who shows the same determination and leadership as Kyler, said Kathie Stancil, treasurer of the league. The trophy will always read, “In recognition for determination, commitment to leadership, continuous dedication to sportsmanship that which represents the Hiram Hornets Youth Football.” Kyler is also a top student, Harrison said.
“His mother trains him in school, and I train him in football,” he said. Kyler is in all advanced classes, Mrs. Harrison said.
“He has a lot of high goals,” she said.
Kyler and her sit down at the table every night to map out what he needs to do for school, Mrs. Harrison said. She said she tells Kyler he has to stay on top of his work to excel, she said.
“He does not shy away from a challenge,” Mrs. Harrison said.