Marcus Mannerstedt, junior place kicker for the reigning Class 1A state football champions was presented the John Williams Award Friday night in a pre-game ceremony in The Jungle.
Marcus was selected based on his 2014 football statistics, character, and classroom efforts, explained Shelton Crews, executive director of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association.
Marcus was awarded a plaque inscribed with the “Place-kicker of the Year” in District 7. A large trophy will be on display at THS until the next annual winner is presented the award.
“Marcus Mannerstedt has been our secret weapon with his kicking success this season,” explained Andrew Thomas THS head coach.
Marcus has 66 kick-offs and 39 of these have been for touchbacks. He has made 54 of 56 extra points following Tiger touchdowns. This amazing young kicker is 7 for 7 in field goals in games, with his longest of 43 yards made in the third period Friday night in the Regional semi-final win over Lafayette County. His 39 longest kickoffs have forced the Tigers opponents to start in a hole on their 20-yard line. Marcus has done a great job for the Tigers in 2014, but this Tiger team is working to achieve more goals this season, explained Coach Thomas.
Mannerstedt became a Trenton Tiger when he tried out for the place kicking position in the spring of 2013. Marcus was born in Barbados and moved to West Palm Beach in 2004. He and his family moved to Trenton in 2010 and he grew up kicking and playing soccer. Marcus still plays the game he loves for fun, but he has since learned to kick the football and enjoys being the place kicker for the reigning 1A state football champions.
John Williams, a native of Cross City was an accomplished place kicker for the Dixie County Bears when they were the Class 2C state runner-up to Port St. Joe in 1971. Williams recalls the 1971 team defeated Interlachen 1-0 on a cold November Friday night in Cross City. The win advanced the Bears to Ft Lauderdale to face St Thomas Acquaints where the Bears won that game 24-6. Williams went on to the University of Florida and played for the Florida Gators and became the first black place kicker in the Southeastern Conference. Williams is best remembered for his 35-yard field goal in the driving rain to tie the LSU game at 3-3 at Florida Field.
John Williams appreciates what the area did for him and now wants to give back to this area with this award and various football camps that he hosts each summer. Williams in cooperation with the FACA established the Kicker of the Year award five years ago to recognize the outstanding athletes that are competing in North Central Florida in the Suwannee Valley area. Previous award winners are: Zach Cassidy (Dixie County), Dallas Stubbs (GHS), Danny Krystalka (Ocala Forrest), and Alex Holloway (GHS).
By John M Ayers