Greenlee receives Presley Award

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 29, 2007

North Delta’s Bateman Greenlee is the second recipient of the Brandon Presley Memorial Spring Football Award. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Greenlee earns Presley Award

By Angie Ledbetter

Bateman Greenlee  found out on Sunday morning around 9 that he was the winner of the second annual Brandon Presley Award.

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Head Green Wave coach Richard Russo called and told him.

“I was surprised and happy,” Greenlee, a junior, said. “He (Russo) had said this year that there were 12 or 13 people who were all up for the award. We all did a good job this spring working hard.

“I really didn’t know Brandon but I know what he did,” Greenlee continued. “What he did was great. I admire him a lot for what he did. I remembered him when I was younger, looking up to him in the halls just as a football player. Now I admire him for what he did even more. I try to be a leader. I try to just work hard. I am not very vocal, but at times, I am. I just try to lead by example if at all possible.”

Greenlee has been playing football since seventh grade. This is his second year on the varsity team. He said his teammates congratulated him on winning this award.

When asked what he thinks the seniors thought about him winning the award, Greenlee does not think class matters.

“It’s not just juniors and seniors on the team,” Greenlee said. “It’s just leaders and it’s just one team. It really is. I’ve never been part of a team like this. We are all just friends and we hang out together.”

Greenlee’s parents, Julie and Brad, are excited about the award, he said.

“My parents are really excited about me winning this award,” he said. “They told me to just keep working hard.”

As far as setting the standard higher after winning this award, Greenlee said it was set pretty high already and that was to win the State Championship as a team.

Greenlee looks forward to the day that he can step into J.T. Dalrymple’s shoes and be the starting quarterback. He said that will come after they win the state championship this year and J.T. graduates.

A news release by Russo explains the award and how a player earns it.

The Brandon Presley Memorial Spring Football Award was created in memory of Brandon Presley, who was an alumnus of North Delta School and its football program.

Presley gave his lift while defending the country in the Middle East as a member of the United States Marine Corps.

“This award was created because Brandon’s character, patriotism and Green Wave spirit should be remembered and honored,” Russo said in the release. “He paid the ultimate sacrifice while defending our great nation and put others before himself. The concept of this award is a ‘Team Before Me’ attitude. We want the player who sells out to lead this team to win the award each spring.”

The Presley award winner has to meet stiff criteria, Russo said.

First, the player must be present at all spring football practices and the jamboree. Next, he must exhibit leadership qualities exemplifying hard work, dedication, determination, character and spirit. At the conclusion of the spring jamboree the North Delta coaching staff voted on the award by secret ballot.

The winner’s name will go on a permanent plaque in the North Delta Fieldhouse where names will be added annually.

Greenlee wears No. 13 and plays defensive end and several offensive positions. He is a four-year player at North Delta and lettered in 2006 as a member of the 2006 playoff team.

“I am very honored to be this spring’s Presley Award Winner,” Greenlee said. “I am looking forward to helping this team succeed this fall.”