By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The bond shared by the members of the 2017 Brighton Cardinal Football has developed a strong brotherhood.
As the 27 seniors prepare for the next chapters in their lives after May, the legacy of being the first team to reach the State Semifinals is giving a lot of the players a chance to shine the spotlight on those who inspired them to reach history.
The Class of 2018 made school history again with the largest signing class. Another name added to that historic list last month was defensive back Demetrius Frisson. With his parents Deon and Janell by his side, Demetrius wanted to make sure his baby sister Majel was on hand in the Brighton High School Library to witness his signing to Missouri Valley College.
Demetrius’ desire was for is inking of his letter of intent to inspire his sister to greatness like their older siblings She’Kenah, Cierra and DeonDre did for him.
“That desire comes from a little bit of the whole family, especially his big brother,” Deon said of Demetrius. “He was always trying to follow his big brother around. What he was doing, he wanted to do. So he was following him around.
“When we saw that we can tell he was very versatile,” he continued. “He’s an athlete from playing all those different sports from martial arts and the various other things he has done. He will stick his neck out and say I’m going to give it my all.”
Before Demetrius could establish himself as a premiere defensive back in Tennessee, his family made the move from Texas when he was in the fifth grade.
“He adapted quite well,” Janell recalled. “He’s very laid back. He just kind of blends in.
“That was my job to make sure he was focused off the field,” she added. “He’s a respectful, kind and decent young man. He’s hard working. He knows the value of hard work.”
Demetrius’ hard work made him a shutdown corner and one of the leading tacklers on the Cardinal defense. Those stats and his effort on the field grabbed the attention of the Missouri Valley staff.
Frisson will become a Viking to play his college football in Marshall, Mo., for Head Coach Paul Troth. Missouri Valley plays in the NAIA’s Heart of America Athletic Conference and went 5-6 last season.
During that same stretch, Frisson overcame a high ankle sprain to return to his cornerback position. Frissons helped the Cardinals win the Region 8-5A championship and reach the Class 5A State Semifinals.
“I had Demetrius for the last three years,” Brighton Defensive Backs Coach Joshua Wyatt said. “So I’ve had a chance to coach him when he was a JV guy and two-year starter for varsity. He has a great work ethic. He always works hard. He loves football and he’s been committed to playing at the next level for the last three years. He has done everything he could do to better himself to play at the next level. I’m glad he gets that opportunity.
“He’s had a tough year with the ankle injury and everything,” he continued. “I think if anything this season has shown a great deal of persistence. It has taken a great deal of persistence and sticking with the process knowing it’s going to pay off. He has done a great job with that.
Wyatt said Frisson is an intelligent DB studying routes to be where he need to be on the field. Now his next field of play will be in the Show Me State.
Frisson’s signing added him to the list of Imari Allen also to Missouri Valley College, DJ Barker to Rhodes, Drew Twisdale to Lyons College and the quartet of Aaron Alston, Spencer Cartwright, Jordan John and Cameron John all to Southeast Missouri State.
“We’ve all been talking about this since elementary and middle school,” Frisson recalled. “We’ve all been hoping that we would make it somewhere and look at us now.”
Sharing there dreams, a practice field, locker room and team colors, the bond was strengthen for Frisson and the Cardinals away from BHS.
“It got to the point, most of the kids in the senior class, we started sleeping at each other’s houses,” he noted. “Every week, back-to-back. We’re all really close. We look at each others as brothers.”
His brothers in Cardinal Red and Black kept Frisson encouraged as he rehabbed from his setback.
“My ankle injury in the beginning of the season, that made me actually open my eyes and realize that I have to work hard for everything I do,” he said. “Once I realized that, look what I did. Look at my stats, I went from a hurt, high ankle sprain and came back. I almost had as high of stats as our linebackers. I didn’t even start all the games.
“It’s just a drive I’ve always had,” Frisson added. “And where I get that drive is between my brother and me. My older brother and I, we’ve always been like that with each other. He told me, ‘You’re not going to make it to college.’ I told him, ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’ Look at me, that’s my drive. That is where I get it from. I want to thank him.”
DeonDre’s tough love helped is baby brother push aside excuses and work to reach his dream of playing college football.
“My brother, my brother honestly he has been through worse than me,” Demetrius said. “But he always managed to pick me up when I was down so many times. I’ve been there for him. Nobody can fill his spot.
“Yes, I love my Mom and my Dad,” he continued. “But a person that was there for me my whole life was my brother. It got difficult since he went to the military. I’m glad he’s doing his own thing now. He’s doing good and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody else.”
Frisson said also wouldn’t trade his Cardinal teammates or the historic season of 2017. But as far as the legacy of the 2017 Brighton Cardinals and the Class of 2018, Frisson said it is still unwritten.
“This is just the beginning,” he concluded. “I feel like I can do more. Not just me but as a team, God is telling me something. I don’t know what it is yet. But I feel like there is more for us.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.