Trousdale County senior Jake Gregory was recognized last week by the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation for achievement in the classroom as well as on the playing field.
Gregory was the recipient of the NFF’s Admiral William P. Lawrence Award, which is presented annually to the player deemed the top high school football scholar-athlete in Middle Tennessee.
The award was presented as part of the NFF’s annual banquet, which was held Feb. 27 in Franklin.
Former Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner nominated Gregory for the award, stating, “Described as a relentless worker, Jake has been a team captain the last two years and was a major leader in leading our team to the state championship game this year. His determination and drive to be the best allowed him to become first-team all-region in 2016, 2017 and 2018, team captain in 2017 and 2018, and all-state in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Traits of dependability and hard working will make Jake successful at whatever he pursues.”
The award is based on scholarship, sportsmanship and value to his team and is named after Admiral William P. Lawrence, a decorated Navy aviator from Nashville who spent six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. While in captivity, Lawrence wrote “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee,” which became the state’s official poem in 1973.
The award has been given annually since 1968, with past winners including Lonnie Sadler, Jonathan Quinn and Will Bartholomew.
Gregory is the son of Barry and Hope Gregory. A four-year letterman for Trousdale County, he was a two-time captain and a three-time all-state selection as a lineman for the Yellow Jackets. He was the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year in the region and was named Most Valuable Lineman in 2018.
In the classroom, Gregory is ranked fifth in the Class of 2019 and carries a 4.0 GPA. He scored a 34 on the ACT and plans to attend Tennessee Tech to major in chemical engineering.
“How many football players have one of the highest ACT averages in the school?” said TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson. “I’m humbled by his intelligence and his athleticism.”
Gregory is also Vice President of the senior class and a member of both Student Council and Beta Club. He was voted Most Versatile by the faculty at TCHS.
“Jake is fully deserving of this award. He is a perfect example of what hard work can do for not only an athlete but for a student as well. His work ethic in the classroom, weight room, and on the field will be missed greatly,” added new Jackets coach Blake Satterfield. “I was fortunate enough to have him as a student and player (most recently as a defensive coordinator in 2019) and these characteristics in which he displays will lead to a successful career in whatever path he chooses. Good luck to Jake from not only myself but from my coaching staff and our community.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributing: Staff reports