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Jaycees honor Bush as 2008 Citizen of the Year

One of Greenville High School’s biggest supporters has been honored with the 2008 John D. Murphy Citizen of the Year Award by area Jaycees.

Rodney Bush, a longtime fixture with Greenville High School athletics, received the award during Monday night’s city council meeting.

“I never knew Mr. John Murphy, but I know he was a good man for all the things he did for this community,” said Bush. “It’s an honor. I want to thank my momma and daddy for raising me right and if anyone ever needs me give me a call.”

Bush was the perfect recipient said Ben Blackmon, GHS head football coach and athletics director.

“Rodney does anything I ask him to do,” said Blackmon. “If we need anything – socks for a player, a trailer taken to a ball game, organizing the concession stand for home games, it doesn’t matter. From ordering footballs to taking out the trash, he’ll get it done. A lot goes into playing football games. Without his help, we’d be way behind.”

Blackmon completed his second season as the Tigers’ head football coach this fall.

He recalled his first meeting with Bush when he found out just how competitive the former athlete was.

“He (Bush) wants to win,” he said, laughing. “He’s a competitor and he’s probably more competitive than some of the coaches we have on staff. He just wants to see us play hard and get after it. He’s pulling for us.”

Mayor Dexter McLendon applauded Bush.

“Rodney Bush is just a good guy,” he said. “And he’ll do anything for you. I think it’s great. He has a lot of passion for Greenville High School and working with those kids and coaches.”

McLendon also took the opportunity to remember the award’s late namesake.

He said he remembered visiting with Murphy in the early 1980s when the city’s Peewee football program was close to being abandoned.

He said Murphy had him a $500 check available that day to help continue the program.

“Because of Rodney’s love for football, I know John Murphy is smiling and happy to see him get this award,” McLendon said. “I will never forget John Murphy.”

Murphy died in a drowning accident in the mid-1990s.

His wife, Susan, established the award through the Jaycees to help honor individuals who volunteer their time to help the community.