When Levi George starred for the Danville Hawks, his running style was pretty simple.
“Straight and forward because I didn’t have any juking ability,” George said. “I thrived on lowering a shoulder and taking on contact.”
George was The Daily’s Class 1A-4A Player of the Year in 2009. Eleven years later, he’s the winner in an online contest for the favorite Class 1A-4A Player of the Year since 2000.
The All-State honorable mention selection rushed for 1,146 yards and 14 touchdowns on 178 carries. He also recorded 38 tackles and two sacks on defense.
Danville advanced to the playoffs in 2009 for just the second time since 1995. The Hawks were in the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009.
“We had a big senior class with a lot of good players,” George said. “We knew each other growing up and played a lot of ball together. We really wanted our last season to be successful.”
Joey Burch was in his eighth season as head coach at Danville in 2009. After the playoff run in 2004, the Hawks suffered through four losing seasons. They won just four games in 2008.
Danville opened 2009 with five straight wins over Hatton (35-0), at Hanceville (28-7), Good Hope (27-20), at Carbon Hill (42-0) and Priceville (73-6). The win over Priceville is still the school record for the most points in a game and the largest margin of victory.
“There was a lot of talk going back and forth between both teams before the Priceville game,” George said. “When you are from Danville, it’s always good to beat Priceville.”
After the Priceville win, Danville lost its next three to Winfield (35-7), Hamilton (44-14) and at Vinemont (20-12). All three games were region contests.
The Hawks bounced back with a region win at J.B. Pennington (10-7) and a win over Falkville (51-15) to close out the regular season. The 4-3 region record put Danville in fourth place in Class 3A, Region 7 and set up a first-round playoff game at undefeated Madison Academy.
Danville faced a Madison Academy team stacked with talent, including 6-foot-4 receiver Jordan Matthews, who played later at Vanderbilt and in the NFL. The Mustangs won 21-3.
After high school, George got into law enforcement. He has worked for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office and is now with the Falkville Police Department. He and his wife Cassie have two children, Brock and Emilee.
When George’s work schedule allows it, he likes to watch his younger brother Cal George play football. Cal was the starting quarterback at Hartselle last season. He has transferred to Athens this year for his senior season.
“He runs the ball a lot like I did,” George said. “He’s physical with a lot of straight and forward.”