No one has to tell Dennis Garmon to get excited about this, his upcoming final season of high school football.
Garmon, in fact, wasted little time taking to his Facebook page Tuesday morning to sound off about such excitement.
Said Garmon, Raleigh-Egypt High’s rising senior in a social media post he assembled at 11:54 a.m. Tuesday: “I’m coming up! Football gone get me out the hood.”
To get a thorough understanding of why Garmon is enthusiastic about this upcoming season, look no further than the strides he has made for a Raleigh-Egypt team that is starting to escape years of futility.
For starters, Garmon, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound outside linebacker, played an integral role for a Pharoah defensive unit that held the opposition to single digits twice and managed to record a shutout (a 21-0 win in Week 9 against cross-town rival Fairley) last year.
In addition, Garmon, who had proven to improve his mechanics heading into his pivotal junior campaign, helped propel Raleigh-Egypt to an elusive postseason berth, although the team ended the year one game below the .500 mark (5-6).
To his credit, his assertiveness, by all accounts, was amongst the reasons the new look Pharaohs, under the direction of coach Terry Smith II, enjoyed a winning record in District 16-AA play, having won five of eight league outings.
After a year in which the Pharaohs re-emerged as a playoff team, coupled with the fact that Garmon is aiming to add to what was a productive year, and it’s no wonder this kid boasts lofty aspirations of using football as an outlet to vacate the inner city.
In a nutshell, Garmon doesn’t shy away from the notion that at this stage in his athletic career, he’s destined to make a strong case of putting his football skills on display at the collegiate level.
“What I can do to continue to make my mother proud would be to understand that I must get my education first,” Garmon told MemphiSport on Wednesday. “Because I know that will take me even further in life after football…to always stay positive and stay level headed. I also must continue to work harder toward my goals and achieving my goals.”
As Garmon tells it, nothing would be more gratifying than to be afforded the golden opportunity to sign his name on a National Letter of Intent in early February when prep football players will be allowed to make their official commitments to colleges.
“I love the sport of football because it teaches you the meaning of having a role model, discipline, and conditioning your mind and body,” Garmon said. “And most importantly, it prepares you for life through those teaches (of coaches).”
Garmon’s mother, Yolanda Garmon, who has witnessed her son intensely transcend from the Memphis-area youth football league to the high school ranks, is impressed with her son’s overall progress both on and off the field.
Without question, she believes her son has the poise and skills to play on Saturdays around this time next year.
“He started playing with the Memphis Bears, a little league team at the age of 13,” Yolanda Garmon said. “My overall reaction was that he could be successful at the sport when he came to me and said he wanted to play. He is a committed young man in everything he does and I knew all along (football) would be no exception.
“As a mother, I was nervous to know he was going to play high school football,” Yolanda Garmon continued. “But I had to respect that this sport creates men, and knowing that he loves it so much, I had to support him.”
As Raleigh-Egypt prepares to open the season in the coming weeks, Dennis Garmon said his primary objectives in the meantime are to help lead his team to another postseason berth, let alone continue to make a case to land a scholarship.
And he said…
“Also to take my queen with me wherever I go once I succeed at such goal.”
That queen to whom he’s referring is his mother.
His grandest supporter since Day 1.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.