HARRISON -- You'll have to pardon Harrison coach Tommy Tice if all the success his undefeated Goblins have had this season doesn't go to his head.
You see, for all the wins this year and all gratification of seeing one of the most talented senior classes in school history succeed on the field, Tice is brought back down to earth by the mention of one name.
The name of the former Goblin and Razorback star means a lot to people across the state of Arkansas, but what Burlsworth was in life and is in memory is still fresh in the mind of his former coach and in the hearts of the people in his hometown.
"I've had a lot of players go off to college," an emotional Tice said when talking about Burlsworth after Harrison's 43-13 win over Greenbrier Friday. "But it's hard to have a relationship with them after they are away at school.
"After Brandon went to school, he was around here all the time. And I try to tell people, we had a great player-coach relationship before he went to school, but when he went to college and was always back here, he became such a good friend. It was an honor to know him."
In honor of the memory of Burlsworth, a tribute has been painted on the fieldhouse at Goblin Stadium. Underneath Burlsworth's name a sentence reads "Do it the Burls Way." Tice said the tribute is the least the school could do to remember his friend.
"I don't think he ever knew how much I looked up to him," he said.
TICE HONORED: Before the game against Greenbrier, a ceremony was held proclaiming October 29, 1999 Tommy Tice Day in Harrison in honor of the coach's 200th career victory last week against Alma.
Tice is the sixth coach in Arkansas history to reach 200 wins.
"I could have done without all the hoop-la," Tice said. "But, it means a lot to me that my family was there with me for this. It was a great night."
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: The final score gives no indication how tough Greenbrier played the Goblins Friday, but Tice said after the game that the game was the toughest and most physical they have played this season.
Not only did Chad Pitts have the biggest rushing day of the season against Harrison this year with 183 yards, but the 13 points were the most allowed by the Goblins in a game this year.
"I have nothing but respect for what (Greenbrier coach) Terry Smith and those coaches do at Greenbrier," Tice said. "People may think I'm crazy, but year in, year out, nobody plays us tougher and as hard.
"They come to play. Watch out for them next year."
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