Gibson presented several awards

Published 5:49 pm Friday, December 5, 2008

Fort Dale’s Kendall Gibson has recently won several awards in Alabama, but his achievements aren’t limited to the United States or just the gridiron.

Gibson was one of three finalists for the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s AISA Lineman of the year, along with Austin Butler from South Choctaw Academy and Auburn commitment Harris Gaston of Bessemer Academy.

Although Gaston came away the winner, Gibson said he was proud to be on the list.

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“Even though I didn’t win, it’s still a big accomplishment,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone that’s helped me to get there like my teachers and coaches at Fort Dale, who helped me become a student-athlete.”

“My family, friends and teammates have also supported me,” Gibson continued. “It’s not just something I did — everyone helped me get there.”

The student-athlete part of Gibson’s accomplishments was highlighted by his being the AISA All-Star Scholar-Athlete recipient for the East team at the AISA All-Star game.

Gibson was the sole recipient for the East team, and he was selected for his academics and an essay during the application process.

However, Gibson will soon get a chance to travel to Japan to play football.

The GE Global Challenge Bowl selects a team of 40 American players and pits them against a team of 40 Japanese players in Kawasaki, Japan.

Gibson found out about the program through his girlfriend’s father, Jeff Bush.

“He was getting certified for Bigger Faster Stronger [an athletic weight training program], and his instructor mentioned it,” Gibson said. “We contacted the coach and several people recommended me. It was a long process.”

“One of the coaches actually came to the state championship game and watched that,” he added.

Gibson will get to spend 10 days in Japan next March, training, practicing, playing and experiencing Japanese culture.

“I’m pretty excited about it and about representing the United States,” he said.

After graduation, Gibson will head to Troy University, where he plans to play football.

“I’d really like to thank my teammates, coaches, family, friends and teachers because they’ve all supported me along the way,” he said.