Butts faces ultimate test

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

King’s Fork High School football player Darran Butts will come into his senior season in unfamiliar circumstances.

One of the standouts for the Bulldogs can be seen lined up behind the quarterback on offense or in front of a receiver on defense. Butts will be a significant piece of whatever success King’s Fork has on the football field this season.

Every offseason brings a new challenge, whether it may come mentally or physically. This year is no different, but it will be especially trying for Butts, who lost his 42-year-old mother in February.

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That would be hard for anyone to deal with, but Butts is now facing one of the most important seasons of his football career without the presence of his mother.

Since February, Butts has attacked the game like never before. Last season, he finished with more than 1,300 rushing yards and scored 17 touchdowns for King’s Fork. He also competed hard on the defensive end. This year, Butts is looking to come back even stronger.

“The whole thing just made me grind harder,” Butts said of his mother’s death. “I know she is looking down at me, so it’s only right that I make her proud.”

The process has been tough since February. As expected, Butts thinks about his mother a lot. Early on, he struggled with opening up about the tragedy. However, due to the overwhelming support, he knew he could get through the tough time in his life.

“It was kind of tough, because she meant the world to me,” the Bulldog said. “It’s definitely hard when you lose the person that meant the world to you. I had support from all my loved ones, and they helped me get through it.”

Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles and Butts’ father do their best to keep him focused. The Bulldog also has two sisters and a brother who keep him grounded and motivated to push through hard times.

“He’s the best coach ever,” Butts said of Littles. “Him and my dad are the hardest on me. Coach is always telling me to pound the rock while my dad always tells me to trust God. My dad is excited about what I can do, and he and coach are looking forward to a big season from me.”

Butts wants to achieve the 2,000-yard mark and also to reach 30 touchdowns. He also wants to win a ring, a promise he made to his mother before she passed.

“Before she died, I told her I was going to work my butt off each day,” he said. “I also promised her a ring. I don’t usually break promises.”

Butts will be a name to watch this season. He has garnered a lot of college interest and has scholarship offers on the table. This year will be a big year for Butts, who faces the ultimate test of playing for his mother, but without her, for the first time in his life.