December 23, 2009 10:50:00 AM
Going into this past high school football season, Pickens County coach Scott Marchant asked junior Deion Curry to play a demanding position on defense.
Marchant wanted to use Curry as a hybrid where he lined up at linebacker and safety.
Marchant wanted to exploit Curry''s talents in stopping the run and defending the pass, depending on the situation.
Curry responded to lining up in multiple positions on the field and contributed to a stingy defense that helped Pickens County make it to the semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A playoffs and finish with a 12-2 record.
"He played a hybrid position that is not easy to fill," Marchant said. "He played a position that demands a lot coverage wise and also demands a lot run support wise. Basically he was a safety and linebacker at the same time. It''s a demanding position. Not everybody can do it and he did a fine job with it this year."
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Curry contributed to a defense that allowed only 170 points in 14 games for an average of 12.1 points per game.
He led the Tornadoes with 136 tackles and he intercepted three passes. He returned one interception for a touchdown.
For his role in helping Pickens County make it to the state semifinals, Curry is The Commercial Dispatch West Alabama Defensive Player of the Year.
"He just made big plays," Marchant said. "He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
"He was always around the football. He''s not the biggest guy in the world and he''s not the fastest guy in the world, but he''s got a real good nose for the football."
Curry wanted to do his part in keeping the opposition out of the end zone.
The Tornadoes shut out Aliceville 13-0 and American Christian Academy 26-0, and allowed a touchdown or less in four other games.
"My goal was not let anybody get inside the 5," Curry said. "We didn''t anybody to score and so that was my mentality."
Curry helped Pickens County win its first nine games of the season before a loss to Gordo in the regular season fianle. The Tornadoes then beat Keith, Goshen and Leroy in the playoffs before having their season come to an end with a setback to Reeltown.
He helped Pickens County advance its farthest in the playoffs since reaching the semifinals in 2001.
"Everybody started the season with the goal to win a state championship," Curry said. "We were what, 12-2? It wasn''t the season we wanted, but I''m still kind of proud of it. We had a few bumps in the road along the way, but we overcame adversity and ended with a great year."
Curry also contributed offensively for the Tornadoes and was considered for offensive player of the year honors.
He directed an offense that scored 458 points for an average of 32.7 points per game.
He was Pickens County''s quarterback and he completed 89 of 161 passes for 1,530 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was intercepted just three times.
He also rushed 91 times for 274 yards and two touchdowns.
"I wanted to do everything I could to help the team," Curry said. "I tried to be a leader and keep a positive attitude."
He did just that in helping Pickens County have a season to remember.