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Prep sports: Honors given to six locals

Unsung Heroes Award given to SCV athletes

Posted: December 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Soon, a group of Santa Clarita Valley athletes will be able to put their names in the same category as NFL running back Reggie Bush.

The Los Angeles Inner City Youth Foundation is honoring six local football players at the 20th Annual Dr. Marting Luther King, Jr. Celebration next month in a Los Angeles-area church.

It was the same ceremony that once honored Bush, along with prominent names such as former attorney Johnnie Cochran and former high school basketball coach Ken Carter.

This year, West Ranch’s Jeff Coprich, Kyle Alexander and Quaid Willis, Valencia’s Tedric Thompson, Saugus’ Tyler Watt and Golden Valley’s Earl Johnson are a few of the players highlighting the event which takes place on Jan. 15 at the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m.

It’s the first time the event has recognized high school athletes as award recipients according to Jeff Coprich Sr., the founder of the Inner City Youth Foundation.

“We normally honor celebrities at this time for their committment to kids in the inner city,” Jeff Sr. said. “But this year we changed it and said, ‘You know what? Let’s honor these kids that are doing well in their studies.”

The awards are given to what the foundation refers to as unsung heroes, otherwise known as people who “overcame the odds.”

Each of the local recipients came from various situations of adversity, whether it was growing up in a single-parent home or dealing with injuries throughout high school.

They were selected based on information gathered by people around the community and throughout the year, Jeff Sr. said.

More specifically, the players selected weren’t necessarily chosen because they were the best football players, but due to a combination of academic achievement and dedication on the field.

Also being recognized at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be film writer/producer Matthew Cherry, Cornell J. Ward, the executive director of the Unity One Foundation, and a handful of other L.A. area prep football players.

The L.A. Inner City Mass Choir will also perform.

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