25th annual ‘Hoss’ Bennett awards 6 p.m. Thursday in the CCC


    By Josh Troy

    Clarksdale Advocate

    All previous nominees and winners are invited to the 25th annual Ronald “Hoss” Bennett awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Pinnacle at Coahoma Community College. The Clarksdale Exchange Club oversees the “Hoss” Bennett awards. The award was named after Bennett, a longtime legendary Clarksdale High School football coach. Three seniors apiece from the Clarksdale High School, Coahoma County High School, and Lee Academy football teams are nominated to win the award.

    After looking at all the nominees, one winner for each school is named.

    One of the three school winners is then selected as the overall “Hoss” Bennett award winner. The overall winner is expected to receive $1,200 to help pay for college. The other two school winners are expected to receive $300 to help pay for college.

    In past years, the overall winner received $1,000, and the other school winners received $250 each, but the scholarships have since increased.

    The nominees are judged based on their athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, school spirit, and community involvement. The four categories are worth 25 points each, and the nominees who accumulate the most points are the winners for their schools.

    “This is something that we’ve done for 25 years straight,” said Jim Herring, an Exchange Club member and emcee for the “Hoss” Bennett award ceremony. “This is a banquet to honor the best and the brightest for our three high schools. It was the brainchild of the late Marvin Carraway, James Ceranti and Don Green and began in 1999. Back then, we had four high schools.”

    Coahoma Agricultural High School, which was later named Coahoma Early College High School, was also part of the “Hoss” Bennett awards until it closed.

    The nominees for the 2023 “Hoss” Bennett award from each school are:

    Clarksdale High School: 

    Quarterback and Defensive Back Kelley Jones, Defensive Tackle Cameron Mackey, and Defensive Tackle Cimmion Ross.

    Coahoma County High School: 

    Outside Linebacker and Running Back Calvin Johnson and Defensive Back and Wide Receiver Markevious Thomas.

    Lee Academy: 

    Center and Defensive End Luke Agostinelli, Outside Linebacker Justice Duraj, and Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Safety, and Quarterback Bryan Ray Jr.

    The previous overall “Hoss” Bennett award winners are:

    2022-Jordan Allen

    2021-Joshua Hollins

    2020-Zeilon Chestnut

    2019-Crawford Allen

    2018-Terrence Humphrey

    2017-Jerome Coley

    2016-Marquez Griffin

    2015-Corey Crumpton

    2014-Miller Frazier

    2013-Tanner Whatley

    2012-Zach Flowers

    2011-Elias Wells

    2010-Sedric Whitehead

    2009-Taylor Tidwell

    2008-Charles Mitchell

    2007-Carl Pam Jr.

    2006-VonDerrick Green

    2005-Andrew Wilburn

    2004-John Landon Ruscoe

    2003-JaQuez Carr

    2002-Rip Fiser and Moses Sayles

    2001-Wynne Cox

    2000-Marcus Dampier

    1999-Brian Barnes

    Tickets to attend the “Hoss” Bennett banquet Thursday night are $10 at the door of the Pinnacle at CCC, and dinner is included.

    Cutline: Longtime Clarksdale High School football coach Ronald’ Hoss’ Bennett, third from left, is at the 2022 awards ceremony.


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