ACKERMAN – A quartet of Ackerman Indians made their college destinations known on Wednesday morning.
Ackerman fans already knew where Trent Furr and Lenny Taylor were continuing their careers, but it was not until mid-morning, they learned where Alex Foust and Quinton Lane were going to end up.
Combo wide-receiver and linebacker Furr will leave the Indians to embark on a career as a punter with Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Furr’s stint with the Wolfpack comes after a senior campaign highlighted by 36 tackles, two fumble recoveries, 1,250 yards punting with a long of 53 and two touchdowns.
“Ackerman means a lot to me,” Furr said. “I was born and raised here and grew up watching the team play when I was little, so I wanted to come here and play and I’ve enjoyed playing here. Now I just want to go to Co-Lin and play a lot, get better and win.”
Taylor joins his teammate on the community college level as he signed with the Northwest Mississippi Rangers.
A standout wide-receiver, Taylor’s final season at Ackerman featured 13 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Taylor provided the Indians with 32 tackles, three interceptions and five passes defended.
“Ackerman has brought me up,” Taylor said. “Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to play football and this is like a football town. The only reason I played football was because of Ackerman. Coach (Adam) Dillinger helped me become the defensive back I am. He always had faith in me.
“Hopefully, Northwest will get me ready to play Division 1 ball. The coaches are new, but they have a great game plan and I am just excited to play.”
Up until signing day, Foust had narrowed his decision down to Millsaps and Belhaven, but on Wednesday, he made it official as he inked his letter with the Millsaps Majors.
“It’s been a ride,” Foust said. “I started out with a bang my freshman year. I probably didn’t play down, but we went to state and I transitioned into my sophomore year. I had a rough year, but heading into my junior year, I grew up and my class grew up. We learned how to win and work hard for everything we got. My senior year we had a lot ahead of us and I had a pretty good year. Coach Dillinger was a part of all those transitions. He taught us that football is not just tackling, throwing and running. It’s a game of life.
“It’s a good feeling to get to strap on the pads again. After I finished my senior year, I knew I was not playing football. I don’t have to go anywhere big or be famous. I just want to play.”
Foust moves forward in his career after a 2012 campaign that featured 26 carries for 177 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Foust provided 54 solo tackles with 32 assists for a total of 86 tackles, while also contributing an interception and fumble recovery.
Lane left everyone guessing until the final moments when he signed a letter of intent with Itawamba Community College following a season marked by 28 receptions from 652 yards and nine scores. Lane was also responsible for a handful of punt and kickoff returns for 187 yards, while providing 39-yards rushing.
“Coach Dillinger has done a lot for me,” Lane said. “My sophomore year we didn’t have a very good year, but we came back that summer worked hard and went 10-4 the next year. Ackerman means a lot to me, just being able to go out there and play for my hometown, knowing the coaches and players trust me means a lot.
“I just want to go to Itawamba and take care of business at the JUCO level and continue to improve.”
When Dillinger looks at his departing seniors, he is reminded of just how far the class has come and what each has meant to Ackerman individually.
“The biggest thing with the group is the leadership,” Dillinger said. “As junior high kids, they struggled then they came up and the learned how to win. The last two years as juniors or seniors we won 19 ballgames. (It was) just the leadership they gave us, the fact that they kept working and never quit, I am proud of the accomplishments they’ve had.
“Quinton is a guy that has come a long way. Football, the best of it is still in front of him. He’s young and he’s going to a good school. Good program for him and they are getting a good player.
“Trent has done a really good job punting. He’s worked at it and gotten better and better the past three years. Each year he has improved. He was first team all-state this year. Co-Lin is getting a good punter and his numbers are going to get better.
“Lenny has helped us out. He has started for three years for us and each year, he has gotten progressively better. He’s played corner, a little linebacker, basically played a little of everything for us and when he gets to a college, he can focus on one thing and get better at that.
“Alex has always been a leader and been a guy that played hard-nosed, with a lot of effort. Whether they play him at linebacker or fullback at Millsaps, they are going to get a good player. He is going to a good school and he’ll be a good fit at Millsaps.”