State Gazette Football Co-Defensive Player of the Year - Dyer County Choctaw Pierre Isom

Monday, June 17, 2024
Dyer County Choctaw defensive lineman Pierre Isom


With a slew of tackles from the defensive line while also helping on the offensive side of the ball as the Choctaws reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in four years, Dyer County senior lineman Pierre Isom has been named the State Gazette Football Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Dyer County Head Coach David Whittle said, first and foremost, Isom was a leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Choctaws.

“He was a leader of the football team who did things the right way,” Whittle pointed out. “He lead kids the right way.

“Defensively, we could move him around. Slide him around where he could play tackle, defensive end or even stand him up at outside linebacker if we needed to.”

Whittle called Isom’s ability to get tackles a relentless pursuit to the football.

“I thought he played hard,” the Choctaw head coach added. “For a defensive lineman to have 80-something tackles is pretty special.”

Isom is a two-year starter who improved with his leadership heading into the senior year.

“It really developed and he took control of the football team,” Whittle said of Isom’s leadership ability.

Defensively, Isom’s statistics are highlighted by 18 of his tackles coming for a loss.

“That’s special in its own right,” Whittle pointed out. “You don’t see that very often from a defensive lineman.

“And, being able to chase guys down in the backfield – whether it be a quarterback or a running back. It’s one of those things where he didn’t give up on a play.”

Isom was also a big part of Dyer County’s success on the basketball court following the Choctaws’ exit from the postseason against Haywood in November. Whittle agreed playing both sports helped Isom on the football field.

“I’m a big proponent of playing both sports,” Whittle added. “I think guys should be playing multiple sports.

“I think it’s good for them. It absolutely helped him because he stays in better shape when he plays basketball. It helps his feet. We’ve got a lot of guys that play multiple sports. He was one of them that did a really good job.”

Being able to make plays was one thing which Whittle called an intangible for Isom.

“When you’re a leader of a football team and you can combine that with making plays, it gets kids’ respect really quick,” the Dyer County head coach said. “I think that was the main thing.”

Over the course of his senior year, Isom’s ability to get the team to follow him on defense was the biggest area of growth from August through November.

“And getting them to play hard,” Whittle added. “He didn’t mind getting on them if he felt like they were slacking.

“He demanded it of the kids. I thought, as the year went on, we got better and better. At the end of the year, we were a lot better football team than we were at the beginning. A lot of that was due to him.”

Whittle added opposing teams began to try to avoid Isom later in the year as well.

“But, we moved him around so much that he didn’t just set at one spot,” Whittle added. “We slid him down to a tackle. He may be at a left defensive end one play then the right the next.

“When you can move a kid like that around so much, it’s hard to scheme.”

Add in he did all this while rushing for almost 600 yards on offense just makes his achievements stand out more.

“For good-sized kid like Pierre, he had to have a lot of stamina,” Whittle said. “I was proud of him.”

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