Morrilton's Minor reflects on championship, future

by Mark Oliver

For the first time in 40 years, Morrilton reached the pinnacle of high school football.

Claiming the Class 5A state championship, 27-24, over Batesville, the Devil Dogs were the only 501 team to bring home the championship trophy in 2013. For senior running back Terrence Minor, the moment was surreal.

“I remember playing as hard as I could that night in order to help my team out,” Minor said. “It was a great feeling to win. Everyone was jumping, hugging and yelling. We had wanted it for so long. We were hungry. A lot of people will never experience what I’ve gotten to experience, and I’m thankful for the memory.”

Minor was selected to this year’s 501 Football Team — 24 players representing all 11 counties of the 501. The team boasts the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the field. Minor was nominated by his coach, Cody McNabb.

“Terrence is a good running back with great vision, quickness and speed,” McNabb said. “He has a great personality and always has a smile on his face.”

In 2014, it’s back to business for Minor and the Devil Dogs, who return just three starters on each side of the ball this season. With two losses to tough Russellville and Pottsville teams to open the season, Minor says that with such a young team, success takes time.

“Right now, I don’t think we’re trying for the repeat,” Minor said. “It’s like Coach McNabb says, ‘If you get there, you get there.’ My teammates have been helping me get a lot better. I’m trying to repay the favor. We just want to get better and prepare for each game one game at a time. I like the tough games. Those are the fun ones.”

“Terrence plays the game the right way,” McNabb said. “He plays hard and respects the game, as well as the other team. He had some big runs in the playoffs last year, and I expect him to be one of the better running backs in the 5A West conference.”

Off the field, Minor runs the 100m and 4x100m in track and field and enjoys playing basketball with teammates Terrin Ushery and Cyrus McKaskle. After high school, Minor dreams of pursuing a criminal justice degree at the school where one of his biggest football role models, De’Anthony Thomas, played, the University of Oregon.

“I want to play college football,” Minor said. “If I could play anywhere in the world, I would play for the Ducks. I want to see how far I can make it in my career, and that starts with this year. I have a big offensive line, and I’d like to get more than 1,000 rushing yards this season.”

Wherever his future carries him, Minor will always remember the community that helped him grow into a champion.

“I love the 501,” Minor said. “The people of Morrilton are like family to me. They’re nice and help you out when you’re in need. This will always be home.”

Morrilton plays host to Searcy tomorrow night in search of its first win.