“It felt great, said Vance. “I felt like i had accomplished a bunch of goals, knowing that I was the first to have my jersey retired in football, it meant a lot to me. All my hard work has finally paid off.”
The jersey was presented to Vance Saturday before the Panthers took on Westside in a basketball game. Head Football Coach Jimmy Vance was on hand to present his former RB with the honor.
“He was and still is respectful and done the things I ask of a leader,” said Coach Vance. “He set a lot of records at TV that never may be broken. He deserved the honor. He was capable of making a big play every time he touched the ball. Austin and the team showed the community and people that Tug Valley can be a basketball and football school and you can play both and be successful.”
The Panthers finished the season 8-3 and were defeated in the first round of the playoffs. After a 0-10 record from the previous year, not much was expected but Tug shocked the community and state by hanging in the top 10 throughout the year.
“This season was a tremendous year,” Austin said. “I felt that me and my team reached our goals that we set at the beginning of the season. I was proud of what we accomplished. I will take everything that I learned this football season with me and all the great memories I shared with my teammates and coaches.”
Vance finished the football season with 3,002 total all-purpose yards and 35 touchdowns.
“It was a great honor for me and I'm sure the other coaches feel the same way, to coach Austin and the 2010 Panther football team,” Coach Vance stated. “No. 3 will never be worn on the field at Tug Valley again, but #3 will forever be a big part of Tug Valley football.”