The achievements for Bryan County High School football running back Ivey Mutcherson were literally off the charts for the month of September, and he is showing no signs of slowing down during October game play. For his superior performance, Mutcherson has been chosen as September’s Bryan County Athlete of the Month.
Mutcherson accepted his certificate during an awards banquet Oct. 11 at LouAnn’s Cafe in Pembroke. He was also presented with an athletic achievement award and "Athlete of the Month" T-shirt from family sports pub Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.
Mutcherson, a junior, made a profound impact throughout this entire Southeast region during the Long County game on Sept. 7, prompting at least three other media outlets to award him their Athlete of the Week honors in the days that followed. In that game, he ran for 327 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns. A school record for yardage gained and a preview for what was to come from this young man as the season progressed.
"Ivey has shone through as one of the leaders of this team," head coach Ron Lewis said. "He leads during practice and especially when the lights come on. To be his stature (5’6", 130 lbs.) and to do what he’s done is very impressive."
Lewis said he began seriously taking notice of Mutcherson as the Redskins entered the second half of last year’s season. "He gained 82 yards against ECI this time last year, and they were ranked number one at the time. He gained a lot of confidence in himself after that, which has really helped him improve."
"I told him to have faith in God and you can accomplish anything," said his mother, Barbara Gaines. "He’s loved playing football ever since he was six-years-old out at Hendrix Park, and he’s played ever since. He’s plays so hard out there; I just pray a lot that he doesn’t get hurt."
Mutcherson has avoided injury thus far. Despite being fast and elusive, he is often taking hits. He seldom goes down after the first hit and seems to get stronger as the game goes on.
Last season, he was a bit overshadowed by his cousin, then-senior Alkeem Collins. Lewis said Mutcherson is actually playing at a superior level than Collins in his junior year. With the rest of this season and a whole another year to go, all eyes are on Mutcherson who is seemingly unstoppable in his on-field achievements. Collins has been seen in the stands at each game, cheering on his cousin.
Mutcherson ended the month of September similar to the way it had begun in Long County – by gaining 187 yards against Savannah Country Day. In the seven games thus far this season, he has racked up 808 yards, with 611 rushes and 163 kick returns.
Although the Long and SCD games were both heartbreaking losses with Long winning 41-40 and SCD with 21-20, it may have given the Skins the motivation and practice necessary for success as they have won every game since.
Mutcherson has topped the charts in every game thus far this season, although he is quick to acknowledge and express his appreciation to the Redskin offensive line. "This wouldn’t be possible without them," he said.
Mutcherson said his best is yet to come.
"I have improved, but I haven’t reached my goal yet because I think I can do better," he said. "I feel like the team as a whole is getting better and better each day."
He plans to again participate in basketball and track this year. As far as his future after BCHS, Mutcherson said he hopes to attend college to play football and pursue pre-veterinary studies.
Honorable mentions: RHHS football player Xavier Owens, BCHS softball player Lindsay Seger, RHHS softball player Melanie Goolsby and RHHS cross country runner Lindsey Vasher.