Each high school season, the football players of northeast Georgia give us thrills, provide memories and make history.
Three years ago, the Gainesville Jaycees decided to start giving something back to some of those standouts that light up our fall Friday nights.
To that end, the Jaycees created a scholarship fund to award some of the most deserving players in the Gainesville/Hall County area.
Each year, the scholarship goes to the player -- or players -- that shines not only on the field but in the classroom and in their communities.
Recently, the Jaycees honored the latest recipients of the award in West Hall's Eric Camacho and Flowery Branch's Rashaan Doleman.
(NOTE: After the award presentations, Access North Georgia.com sports editor Morgan Lee caught up with each player to talk about their incredible seasons, high school careers and the games they have yet to play. To watch a video presentation with each player simply click "play" in the box to the right.)
Both played key roles during the 2013 season, leading their teams to the state playoffs -- Doleman as an offensive lineman and Camacho as a linebacker/offensive lineman.
Both also starred in the classroom, carrying impressive grade point averages and consistently finishing amongst the top of their class.
Yet their contributions went even beyond that, as each provided mentorship for others in their respective communities.
Both are also set to continue their careers beyond the high school gridiron, with Camacho headed to play for LaGrange College and Doleman set to play for Kennesaw State.
With that in mind, the Jaycees honored both standouts, providing Camacho with their grand prize of $2,500 and Doleman with a prize of $1,000 -- money that will aid their pursuit of sport and academia at the next level.
The Jaycees also honored Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson as their Player of the Year -- for the third consecutive season. Watson capped his prep career with another extraordinary campaign, leading the Red Elephants to the Class AAAAA semifinals and a Region 8-AAAAA crown. Watson left Gainesville with a state title, three region championships and three state semifinal appearances.
Watson is now preparing for spring practice at Clemson, but area football fans will long remember the dual-threat quarterback that set state records for career passing yards, passing yards in a season and total touchdowns scored.
The Jaycees and we here at Access North Georgia would like to give our congratulations to each of these three standouts; good luck in your future endeavors.