The real MVPs of Lutcher High’s state championship game
LUTCHER, La. (WVUE) - For some, winning is the only thing that matters. For others, giving credit where credit is due is just as important.
Craydon Long and D’wayne Winfield are both Lutcher High School seniors, athletes, and lifelong friends.
Their years of friendship were forged on the gridiron, where the two say they learned what teamwork is all about.
“As a team, you got to get it done together,” Long said.
Winfield’s mother, Sabrina Robertson, says they’re more like brothers than friends.
“They respect one another. They respect each other’s skills,” Robertson said.
Both young men played on pee-wee teams coached by Winfield’s dad.
“Me and my brother, we started a little league from scratch,” Winfield Sr. said. “We had no sponsors. My sponsor was my work check every week.”
The kids carried the skills they learned back then all the way to Lutcher High.
“Playing football together, they really stuck through some hard times,” Head coach Dwain Jenkins said.
The boys helped carry the Lutcher Bulldogs to a State Championship game against North Desoto High in the Superdome.
Tragically, 48 hours before kickoff, Long’s father, Craig Long, was seriously injured in a crash.
“I ain’t never had got the mindset that I wasn’t playing, but a lot of people did think I wasn’t going to play, but I couldn’t back out on my team,” Long said.
“Before he got to the game he was crying about his dad you know being in hospital and I had to call him and tell him you know just go out there and do what you have to do your daddy is doing fine,” Long’s mother Donna said. “His team needed him at that time. So he just went out there [and] he balled out.”
Long caught three interceptions, tying the record for most interceptions in a state championship game.
Winfield threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns. He added another 130 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
“Coach Jenkins is always telling us we don’t know if we’re great enough, but if we work our hardest and we just try to be as legendary as we can we are going to be great,” Wingfield said.
Winfield was named the game’s MVP, but he refused and handed the trophy to his friend.
“He deserves it,” Winfield said. “Without those three picks... I don’t think we would have this trophy right now. And that’s all we really wanted.”
“It wasn’t about the interceptions,” Coach Jenkins said. “It wasn’t about the win. It’s just about the maturity and how much he’s grown in the last 12 months to be the young man that he is today.”
“I had a lot of people talking to me before the game and stuff telling me it was gonna be hard and this was gonna be your best game ever and I played the best game of my life,” Long said. “I waited for it and it finally came at the perfect moment.”
“They probably just see Lutcher High School winning games they don’t see all the things we do. The work we put in. The friendship. The family part of this program,” Wingfield said.
Craydon’s father Craig is working on what will be a long rehabilitation but is expected to make a full recovery.
The young men are still collecting awards and accolades for their senior season and plan to play collegiate sports in the fall.
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