The Union Recorder

October 25, 2013

UR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: GMC Prep senior leads on and off the field

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — As a senior Colby Lawrence has proven a consistent force in the lineup for Georgia Military Prep School this season. He added another strong performance last week against Lincoln County to catch the eye of the community and earn Athlete of the Week honors.

Starting on both offense and defense against the Red Devils, Lawrence racked up 113 yards rushing on 24 carries with two touchdowns, as well as six tackles on defense.

“I think we played well as a team,” he said. “The offensive line did their job and opened up holes for the backs, and the defensive line did their job.”

According to head coach Steven Simpson, the performances this season have been a testament to what kind of student-athlete the senior is on and off the field.

“He’s not a ‘me’ player at all. He’s one of the guys that takes losing the worst,” Simpson said. “If we win, he’s excited but he’s always looking at what he can do better. He’s always looking for that edge.”

Simpson suggests that Lawrence has proven to be one of the Bulldogs’ best in the classroom, transferring his study habits over to the ball field.

“Here we’re a little different; a lot of our guys excel in the classroom. Colby’s one of those guys that excels in the classroom and translates stuff to the football field,” Simpson said. “He’s that guy that takes it and studies film. That helps him be successful on Friday night because it’s almost second nature for him.”

As one of the leaders in this year’s Bulldog senior class, Lawrence has worked four years to develop a standard for future GMC Prep players.

“Now we have the opportunity to be a role model for all the younger players,” he said. “I want to be the person that leads by example, a person that knows what to do and how to do it, and a person who can help people accomplish things they couldn’t accomplish.”

Simpson admits from a coaching perspective that Lawrence is the model for what the program desires to look like in the future.

“He’s not a very vocal guy, but he shows up and takes care of business,” the head coach said. “We don’t need a lot of yellers and screamers, we just need guys that show up and do what they’re supposed to do.

“He adds some consistency. He’s a hard-nose guy — he doesn’t say much if things are going good or if they’re going bad,” Simpson added. “He’s a solid guy. I wouldn’t consider him a flashy guy, but I’d say he’s going to be the guy that’s where he’s supposed to be and make the tackle.”

While Simpson stresses that the Bulldogs work as one unit, he also emphasizes that Lawrence helps the team do what it needs to do week-in and week-out against some of the best teams in Middle Georgia, as the senior has posted 100-plus yard games back-to-back.

“That’s two weeks in a row that he’s done that. We try to develop things around Colby,” he said. “He’s that piston that makes the engine run, so to speak. For a kid to play both ways — offense and defense, and go over 100 yards, is impressive, especially against Lincoln County.”

Though the senior standout has performed well all season, he appreciates his team for a job well done last week to give him the opportunity to earn Athlete of the Week honors.

“It means a lot because I wouldn’t be athlete of the week without the team doing what they’ve been doing these past few weeks,” Lawrence said. “It makes my family proud, and they like seeing me do so well. I want to thank all the people who voted for me, and all my family and friends, as well as the coaches who are doing a great job.”

Lawrence will take the field for the last time at Davenport Stadium tonight, as GMC Prep honors its senior class in the final home contest of the season at 7:30 p.m.