Brian Jenkins, a record-setting running back for Pearl River High School, was selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for September.
Jenkins had a sensational month for the Pearl River football team. In three games during the month, he rushed 82 times for 892 yards (10.9 yards per carry) with 12 touchdowns. He also added eight receptions for 65 yards and a 78-yard kickoff return for a TD. His biggest day came on Sept. 25 in the Rebels’ 35-14 victory over Hannan. The junior rushed 32 times for 396 yards and three touchdowns – his rushing total broke the 12-year school-record for single-game rushing that had been set by James Gillum in 2009. Gillum also earned the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month honor for his performance.
“We just executed the plays better, and we were able to get in a rhythm in the second half,” Jenkins, who also ran in two, 2-point conversions, told Nola.com. “Tonight felt good. It really feels good to break the school record. This was a really big win because we really want a home playoff game.”
Jenkins also ran for 306 yards (on 28 carries) in a season-opening 42-21 win over Pope John Paul II (9/10). In the Rebels’ lone loss of the month, 35-25 to Pine on Sept. 17, Jenkins ran for 192 yards on 23 carries.
Jenkins earned the honor over a very crowded field of outstanding nominees.
- Brady Bennett had a solid month for the UNO men’s golf team in September. During the Privateers’ two tournaments, he shot back-to-back 208s, both tied for the sixth-best 54-hole score in school history, while making 29 birdies. He finished tied for ninth at the Golfweek Fall Challenge in South Carolina and his score of 66 during the third round of that event was the best (tie) at the tournament and is tied for the fifth-best round in school history. The Zachary, La., native also earned a second-place finish at the Derek Dolenc Invitational in Illinois. Bennett currently ranks in the Top-70 in the country in stroke average at 69.3.
- Corey Coleman, a 65-pound 8-year old from Marrero, is making a name for himself on the national amateur boxing scene. In early September, he captured the National Silver Gloves Association title for his age group in Independence, Mo. Coleman’s journey to the national title began with him winning the state title. From there, he went to Arkansas to claim the regional title, which included fighters from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He traveled to nationals on Aug. 28, a day earlier than originally planned in order to get out before Hurricane Ida. Coleman has an 11-1 record and is based at a gym in Avondale.
- Chester Kimbrough, a graduate of Warren Easton High School, has moved into a starting role at cornerback for the nationally-ranked Michigan State football team. A transfer from Florida, his biggest play to date came in the Sept. 25 game against Nebraska – on a third-and-3 play in the opening overtime session, Kimbrough intercepted the pass ands returned it 62 yards. That play set up the Spartans for the game-winning field goal as they improved to 4-0 on the season. The win also boosted Michigan State’s national ranking to No. 17. After not playing in the season-opener, the junior tallied five tackles in a win over Northwestern State (9/18) and three tackles in a road victory over No. 24 Miami (9/18).
- Desire Neal, an outside hitter from Sacramento, Calif., helped lead Dillard volleyball to a 9-2 start to the season and aided the team to an eight-match winning streak. Despite needing to overcome being displaced to Jackson, Miss., from Sept. 11-26 due to Hurricane Ida, Dillard went 7-0 during the month including a pair of victories over Division I opponent Alcorn State and a road victory over NCAA Division III member Mississippi University for Women. In the team’s seven September matches, Neal led the attack with her 67 kills (2.68 per set), while also hitting .185 with an assist, seven digs, seven blocks and 72 points (2.9 points per set). For her efforts during the week of Sept. 20-27, she was named the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference’s Attacker of the Week.
- Santiago Perez, a senior from Pereira, Colombia, went 2-0 in singles, 3-0 in doubles for the Xavier University men’s tennis team at the HBCU National Championships in College Park, Ga. He teamed with Shaikh Abdullah to win the A-division doubles title. As the top seed in the A-division singles bracket, Perez reached the championship match, which was not played because of rain. He helped XULA win the men’s team title of this event.
- Michael Pratt completed 72-of-124 (.581) passes for 882 yards and 10 touchdowns in a 1-3 month for the Tulane football team in September. His 10 touchdown passes rank No. 2 in the American and No. 10 nationally while his 882 passing yards is fifth in the American this year. Against nationally-ranked Oklahoma, the second-year standout threw for 296 yards while setting his career-best with three TD passes and adding a rushing score as he sparked an impressive Green Wave comeback that came up just short. He had gone three games, 96 pass attempts, without throwing an interception until Sept. 25 against UAB when the Blazers picked him off twice. In 14 career games, he has tallied multiple TD passes 12 times and he now has over 2,500 passing yards and 30 TD deliveries in his career.
- Simone Tyson, a sophomore from Cleveland, keyed a 4-1 month for the Loyola women’s volleyball team, who had three matches cancelled or postponed and had to play the other matches on the road due to Hurricane Ida. For the month, the outside hitter tallied 47 kills, 53 digs and four blocks. Her top performance was a 15-kill effort in a 3-1 win over Blue Mountain on Sept. 18. The 5-8 Tyson is a transfer from Fairfield University in Connecticut.