Snook Christian Academy senior Philip Butts is set to become the Eagles' first representative to play in the Alabama Independent School Association's football All-Star Game Dec. 2 in …
Snook Christian Academy senior Philip Butts is set to become the Eagles' first representative to play in the Alabama Independent School Association's football All-Star Game Dec. 2 in Montgomery.
Butts said head coach Keith Smith shared the news with the whole team to help create a moment the senior student-athlete will likely not soon forget.
"Coach told us the Wednesday night before we played Sparta, he told us after practice in the huddle," Butts said after Snook's regular-season finale Friday night. "That was cool, it sent chills down my spine."
The Eagles went on to beat the Sparta Warriors to clinch the program's second playoff berth. A week later, Butts said those moments still felt more surreal than anything.
"It's a huge honor," Butts said. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's going to be a fun night and I'm ready to show people what Snook is about."
Smith said it was fitting for it to be Butts – who, along with his classmates, helped revive the program after not having enough players to field a team for the 2019 season – that becomes Snook's first AISA All-Star.
"This is our sixth year as a team, it's the first time we've had a chance to get somebody on the all-star team and the voting, as I understand it, Philip was high on everybody's ballot," Smith said Friday night. "He's got tremendous heart. Philip's not the biggest kid in the world, but as far as heart, he's got one of the biggest hearts in the world. So, the fact that he is the first Snook Eagle to be in that game, again, I think is great. Well-earned on his part."
Listed as a 5' 9", 175-pound middle linebacker and fullback, Butts lined up all over the field throughout Snook's 10 regular-season games.
Butts recorded 107 touches for 388 yards and seven touchdowns between 81 rushes for 260 yards and six touchdowns to go along with 26 catches for 128 receiving yards and one touchdown. He also took snaps at quarterback and completed 15 passes for 277 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, he led the team with 96 total tackles, his three forced fumbles were second on the team behind Ben Zimlich and his two fumble recoveries were tied for second on the team with Kareem Harris and Elijah Moore. Butts also punted 17 times for 479 total yards and averaged a net punt of 23.5 yards.
Smith said Butts has been the heart and soul of the Eagles' squad and the head coach expected a strong contingency of fans to make the trip to Montgomery in December.
"He's got some tough, tough yards on the season, scored a touchdown tonight, so it's a great thing, he's done a great job this season," Smith said. "I think we'll have a big group from Snook go up for the all-star game to watch him in that game and we'll watch him with pride."
However, there's still at least one more game left on the docket in the 2022 season when the Eagles open the AISA state playoffs this Friday on the road against the Lowndes Academy Rebels.
"It's so cool, I wish some of our other kids that deserved it got on too, but I'm glad we got there," Butts said. "I'm thinking about Lowndes now. Our record's 0-0 and we're going to take it to Lowndes the best we got."