By Steve Williams
Garrett Brady was willing to make the move to center three years ago to help his team. Travis Mozingo, the head football coach at Christian Academy of Knoxville, has never forgotten that.
“The best example of Careacter that I can give you is putting others before yourself,” said Mozingo. “Garrett Brady did just that.”
According to the CAK coach, Brady switched positions three years ago to play center, became a 3-year starter and never missed a game.
“His coaches selected him as our 2021 Offensive MVP – a first in my 22 years of coaching that an offensive lineman received this honor.”
Mozingo recalled that story when The Focus asked local head coaches to point out examples of “good careacter” their Careacter Star Athletes showed last season.
Brady’s unselfish move didn’t just end up helping the team. He flourished at his new position. In addition to being chosen the offense’s MVP, the 5-7, 170-pounder also was selected the TSSAA Division II-AA East Region Lineman of the Year.
There’s more to this story, too. Brady has an unusual highlight play posted online on MaxPreps that shows him getting knocked on his fanny in a game against rival Grace Christian. Why would he go with a highlight play like that? Perhaps he just thought it was funny.
“Yes,” replied Coach Mozingo, “and he had a reputation for flopping. He would always tumble backward, lie on the ground and make everyone laugh, similar to a soccer player or NBA player flopping and it was quite comical.”
After watching Brady’s highlight clip online, this reporter felt it didn’t appear to be a flop and it looked like the GCA player actually knocked Brady over.
“I’m pretty sure it was a flop,” countered Mozingo, who had background knowledge to support his viewpoint. “Garrett also is the star performer in CAK’s Musical Theater – so he’s great at acting!”
Coach Mozingo said Garrett plans to go into the ministry and attend Samford University.
Three others from the list of 216 Careacter Star Athletes also received special praise from their head coach, including Halls junior linebacker Caden Earle.
Scott Cummings, who left Halls to take the Oak Ridge job when it came open after last season, said Earle is a “great” Careacter Star Athlete for the Red Devils.
“Caden is a current junior linebacker that was our emotional leader and voted a team captain,” said Cummings last week. “His work ethic in the weight room is tremendous. Through adversity Caden always stands strong and supports his teammates while also leading them in a positive way.”
Gibbs Coach Brad Turner showed senior running back and linebacker Tarice McKinney some love. “He is a great leader, great student and comes from a great family. He is everything you want in a football player, student and young man.
“Tarice is always willing to help others with school work and maintained a job during the season.”
Matt Lowe at Powell couldn’t overlook Carson Whitehead, an All-State defensive back on the Panthers’ Class 5A state championship team.
In addition to football last fall, Whitehead was honored as an Eagle Scout and chosen the “Great Smoky Mountain Scout of the Year,” proudly said Coach Lowe.
“His high willingness to help others and lead by example and attitude helps to make him someone who others naturally follow.”
Dave Moore, founder of the Careacter Star Athlete program, said: “I’m very proud of all our honorees this school year. We can learn a lot from our young people when they are doing the right things in life.”
Careacter Star Athletes in girls and boys basketball will be announced in the May 2 and May 9 issues of The Focus.
The announcement of the CSAs for sports in the 2021-22 school year was delayed due to “Covid still reeling,” said Moore. “We plan to get back on track next year and release the football honorees in January and the girls’ and boys’ basketball honorees soon after the state tournaments.”
In addition to Knox County, the Careacter Star program honors student-athletes in neighboring counties and other parts of East Tennessee.
2021 FOOTBALL SEASON
The award is based on Attitude, Careacter, Grades, Community Service and Performance as a person.
Stan Pennington, Jr.