Oates receives Charles “Tre” Jones award

Tyler Oates receives the Charles “Tre” Jones Teammate of the Year Award from Charles Jones Jr.

Tyler Oates started six games at quarterback for the Demopolis Tigers as a sophomore. He found himself thrust into the role after Tucker Jones suffered a season-ending injury in the fifth week of the 2011 campaign.

Never having taken a truly meaningful snap in a game, Oates adapted to the role quickly and helped the Tigers to the playoffs that year.

Then came the offseason. Jones returned to action for his senior year and Oates found himself in a battle for the starting quarterback job that lasted throughout the summer and into the Tigers’ Jamboree game against Sweet Water.

When the dust settled, Jones was the starting quarterback once again. As for Oates, he had every opportunity to fade into the background.

But that never occurred. Oates purposed within himself to find other ways to help the team.

By season’s end, he had started games for the Tigers at A-back and wide receiver as well as having logged time at the safety position. Then came the second round of the 2012 Class 5A state playoffs. Jones sustained a hand injury that forced him out after the second series of the game. And Oates, despite having thrown only one pass all season long, stepped back into the position to try to help his team.

Still, perhaps the most impressive aspect of Oates’ season came when he wasn’t on the field. The junior jack-of-all-trades could frequently be found running up and down the sideline, slapping teammates on the shoulder pads and encouraging them to support the Tiger players on the field.

Even after suffering an injury in the first game of the fall, not one moment of Tyler Oates’ 2012 season was ever about Tyler Oates. His dedication was solely and entirely to his team and what role he could play to make that collection of athletes better.

That attitude embodies The West Alabama Watchman’s Charles “Tre” Jones Teammate of the Year Award. Named for a young man who lost his life in April of this year, the annual award is intended to identify the player in Marengo County who best exemplifies the traits Jones portrayed during his career at Demopolis High School, which included the former defensive lineman’s key contributions to the Tigers’ 2009 Class 5A state championship run.

Oates received the award Monday in front of his teammates and coaches and accepted it directly from the hand of Charles Jones Jr., the father of the honor’s namesake.

The announcement of the Charles “Tre” Jones Teammate of the Year Award recipient punctuates The West Alabama Watchman’s 2012 All-County Football Team.