BERLIN- The Stephen Decatur High School varsity football “Tough Guy of the Week” awards will return to the sports pages of The Dispatch again this fall for the 18th starting next week after the season opener against Arcadia on Friday.
Most of the accolades in football at any level are reserved for the glamour guys, the golden-armed quarterbacks and fleet running backs who put points on the board and thrill the crowds, but the weekly “Tough Guy” award is handed out to the Decatur player who most exemplifies the spirit of Seahawk football. Started 18 years ago by Atlantic Physical Therapy president Bob Hammond, the weekly ATP “Tough Guy of the Week” award acknowledges the efforts of an individual player, or sometimes a unit on the team, that do the little things to help the team win that don’t necessarily show up in the box score.
The ATP “Tough Guy” award recognizes those players. After every Decatur game, Hammond presents a trophy to the tough guy of the week. At the end of the season, a “Tough Guy of the Year” award is presented to the player who best represented the qualities of the award week in and week out during the season. For 18 years, Decatur’s gridiron stars have been rewarded with handsome “Tough Guy” trophies by ATP and thousands of dollars have been donated to the program and its players in the name of the beneficiaries of the weekly award.