Lasting legacy: Bulldog leaves mark on Pike County during senior year
Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2016
Deshon Cowling had a simple goal as a senior: leave a legacy at Pike County High School.
He’s done just that, earning second team all-state honors in football during the fall and now earning second team all-state honors in basketball.
“That was big,” the senior said “I was shocked … I went to check the list and my name was on there.”
In the fall, Cowling led the Bulldogs to a 9-1 record and the second round of the AHSAA 3A playoffs. Cowling rushed for a total 254 yards in the playoffs and scored one touchdown. When he took to the hardwood for basketball, he averaged 19 points per game and helped take the Bulldogs to their first state semifinals.
“I was just saying how hard it was to make it,” Cowling said, reiterating his surprise over the honor.
As a sophomore, Cowling was part of a Bulldog football team that went to the second round of the playoffs. That sparked a revival in the program, and by his senior year the Bulldogs were playing for a region championship.
“It was big for me,” Cowling said. “It’s important because we set an example for the younger kids coming up. We wanted to let them know that if you put in the work, anything is possible.”
The Bulldog basketball team was never supposed to make it back to the region finals in 2016. Everybody assumed it was going to be an off year, but with Cowling, Jerrell Lawson and Kamari Jackson the Bulldogs exceed expectations.
“That’s what makes everything so special,” Cowling said of playing with Lawson and Jackson. “When we were coming up, people always said that is going to be a good team for Pike County and we lived up to it. They are the reason we are doing what we are doing. If you’re down they are going to push you to go harder. They are real teammates and friends.”
Cowling embraced his role as a leader this season, both on the field and in the weight room and classroom.
“You can’t be a leader if you’re not performing well in the classroom or in the weight room,” Cowling said. “We (Cowling, Lawson and Jackson) know how to step up and show people how to do things the right way. It’s very special to me to be a leader.”
Cowling now turns his sights to the next chapter in his athletic career. He has signed a scholarship to play football at Missouri State, and he plans on bringing both his athletic and leadership skills with him.
“I’m going to try and go up there and make another name for myself,” Cowling said. “I’m going to go up there as the same player as I am down here. I know I have to work harder.”
When Cowling walks out of Pike County for the final time, he hopes the legacy left behind by him and the other seniors will lead the new and upcoming crop of bulldogs to even more success.
“This year has been great for me,” Cowling said. “I love that I have been able to spend it with my teammates. It has been a great year.”