East Central defensive back Andrew Seward, a 5-foot-11, 175 pound junior, led all under-clansmen in the state with 172 tackles, seven tackles behind Mississippi's leading tackler, Patrick Harris, a senior at Hazelhurst.
Seward distinguished himself with an inspired effort on game night, an effective tackler who averaged 13.2 tackles per game in 2016. Over the past two seasons, Seward has 255 tackles.
He credits his teammates and Hornets head coach Seth Smith for his impressive stats.
Seward said, "He's always pushing me. Always pushing me to get better and better, bigger, stronger, faster. He's always looking for a way to help me. He's helpful. He's here all the time. Just like another dad to us."
Coach Smith called Seward a winner saying, "I mean he's a winner on the field, off the field. You know he's got a lot of God-given instinctive ability."
Seward , a third generation farmer, says he's been helping out on the family farm since he was five-years-old following in the footsteps of his dad and grandfather.
"They always encourage me to get better,"said Seward. "Always be positive and be respectful to everybody."
Coach Smith agrees, that Sewards' experience of growing up on a farm, has influenced Andrew's life in a positive way.
Smith said, "To me that has really translated to him being a great football player because he's so tough.
I guarantee you if he broke his leg, he would finish the game. He's just that tough. He's everything you can ask for in a football player."
Seward has another year to develop his talents and coach Smith believes Andrew will play on collegiate football. Smith believes Seward must gain more weight and strength and he'll get there.
Andrew Seward the WLOX 2016 Defensive Player of the Year.
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