By Erik Harris, sports editor
PINSON — After helping Pinson Valley achieve the ultimate team goal back in December, Ga’Quincy McKinstry has now added the top individual honor a player can attain in Alabama high school football.
Mr. Football is essentially the Heisman Trophy of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and for the second time in three years, its awarded to a PVHS football player. Quarterback Bo Nix accepted the award in 2018 after winning his second state championship with the Indians, and McKinstry followed suit in 2020.
The annual award is voted on by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
McKinstry, who is best known as “Kool-Aid” by football fans both near and far, is considered the country’s top cornerback prospect in the 2021 cycle. Although he wasn’t challenged often as a senior, the 6-foot standout still managed 12 pass breakups and two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns.
On the offensive end, he chipped in with 45 receptions for 706 yards and 11 touchdowns, the last of which covered 52 yards in the Class 6A state championship game. Pinson Valley would go on to beat Spanish Fort 23-13, securing the program’s third state crown in four years.
McKinstry has since won Alabama-Mississippi All-Star MVP, been named the 6A Back of the Year, earned Tribune Player of the Year honors and signed with the University of Alabama. Along with Nix, the former Fultondale transfer will go down as one of the most decorated players in Pinson Valley football history.
He was one of several players in attendance on Saturday morning for a state championship celebration at Willie Adams Stadium. His senior class is the winningest football team in Jefferson County history, according to Mayor Joe Cochran and Principal Mike Turner. In four years of play, the group went 50-6 with three region championships and three state crowns.
McKinstry has enrolled early in Tuscaloosa and expects to compete in spring practice. He also says he will play basketball for the Crimson Tide starting in 2021-22.
MR. FOOTBALL WINNERS
1982: Tommy Compton, Vigor
1983: Freddy Weygand, Emma Sansom
1984: Rod Green, Gardendale
1985: Pierre Goode, Hazlewood
1986: Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery
1987: Robert Jones, Parker
1988: Darrell Williams, Vigor
1989: Steve Coleman, Pike County
1990: David Palmer, Jackson-Olin
1991: Robert Davis, Homewood
1992: Freddie Kitchens, Etowah
1993: Thomas Banks, West Jefferson
1994: Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley
1995: Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis
1996: Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa
1997: Mac Campbell, Alexandria
1998: DeMarco McNeil, Blount
1999: Cory Whisenant, Springville
2000: Carnell Williams, Etowah
2001: Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville
2002: JaMarcus Russell, Williamson
2003: Chris Nickson, Pike County
2004: Jarod Bryant, Hoover
2005: Andre Smith, Huffman
2006: Larry Smith, Prattville
2007: Julio Jones, Foley
2008: Clint Moseley, Leroy
2009: Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County
2010: Jamal Golden, Wetumpka
2011: T.J. Yeldon, Daphne
2012: Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery
2013: Roc Thomas, Oxford
2014: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy
2015: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort
2016: La’Damian Webb, Beauregard
2017: Asa Martin, Austin
2018: Bo Nix, Pinson Valley
2019: Kristian Story, Lanett
2020: Ga’Quincy McKinstry, Pinson Valley