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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar

Local yokel MVP of 2019 Celebration Bowl

 CLEVELAND,Ohio- One time South Cobb (Ga) High School gridder Kylil Carter learned that the biblical verse about patience being a virtue is as seriously true as an eating cancer.

Last year,the redshirt senior quarterback for North Carolina A&T, a graduate who lives in Austell, Georgia, wasn't sure he'd be alive to play with anybody's football team let alone walk away with the offensive MVP award in the 2019 Celebration Bowl played Saturday, December 21 at the Mercedes Benz Dome in Atlanta.ncat kylil carterCarter

In 2018, while visiting with family in the Peach State, he was involved in a near fatal automobile accident. Forced to the sidelines, the backup signal caller missed last year's Celebration Bowl but stayed prayerfully determined to return to the sidelines for this year's football campaign.

His gumption paid off in spades.

The" brother" from my home state threw six touchdowh strikes, passed for 364 yards and even rushed for 96 yards. I'm thinking that those figures amid his circumstances and positive, self-determined atitude might get him a draft pick in the lower rounds. If anyhing, some NFL team might pick him up as a free agent.

The defensive MVP of the game was Jacob Roberts. According to stats, the linebacker from Charlotte, North Carolina picked up six tackles, three of them solo shots. Alcorn, who didn't receive any post-game accolades, should have. According to stats, at least two defensive players stood out. Juwan Taylor made nine tackles, five of them solo shots. The other, Solomon Muhammad from Birmingham, Alabama's Parker High School, had six tackles, three of them solos, and accounted for the one sack against Carter.

alcn deshawan wallerWaller alcn ernest dixonDixon alcn ej thomasThomas

GAME NOTES: The turnout for this year's Celebration was 32,968, which is 1296 fans over the 31,672 which turned out last year. While Celebration Executive Director and friend John Grant told me back during Celebration III that he was really more interested in viewership for the game which has been good to great since the first CBB in 2015, I'm troubled that there are just not more butts in seats to suit me. A game like this with all its ruffles and flourishes should have way better than half the stadium capacity 71,000 seats filled for every game. ........

The rosters of both Alcorn and NC A&T include seven players each from our local high schools. Three of them are from Atlanta Public Schools. They are all Alcorn players: senior DeShawn Waller from Best Academy, junior Ernest Dixon from Benjamin E Mays High and red-shirt freshman EJ Thomas from George Washington Carver High School.......

XTRA POINTS: Some of you regular readers of this script may wonder why the dateline of Cleveland Ohio. I am here on some family business which I will explain later. But while in the frozen tundra the last seven days,I happened upon a young local boxer here who may well be on his way to becoming the next world light welterweight boxing champ. His name is Montana Loveboxer montana loveLove, a Cleveland hometowner who trains here and has created a local name for himself. I was tipped off about him by my nephew (through marriage) Greg Backham, who also co-owns the popular B&M barbeque restaurant with wife Sonya (my wife's niece). According to Greg, Montana is scheduled to fight New Orleans native Jerrico Walton February 14. The fight will reportedly be shown over Showtime............

As to my dateline of Cleveland ,Ohio for this column, I am here with my wife Patsy and my stepson Tracy Parkertracy parkerParker for tests toward getting him a much needed lung transplant. Cleveland Clinic, massive facilitty here, was recommended as a site for screening tests. After acceptance by their medical staff, we drove here where Tracy was taken through massive testing. it was later determined that he would also need a liver transplant as well and that both would need to be done at virtually the same time. Though not common, the procedure has been performed. We now await a decision from a hospital board. It will be an expensive undertaking but one we are determined to see it through. Several fundraising efforts are planned and those of you who have tolerated my writings so well will be solicited. Moreover, we also deeptly solicit your prayers of support. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your holiday period. God bless us all in 2020.


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