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Los Alamos Hilltopper senior Peter Brewer was the recipient of one of the most prestigious honors handed out by the school’s football program this season.
Brewer, a key player on the Hilltopper defense, was given this year’s Black Lion Award.
The Black Lion Award is given in memory of Major Don Holleder, who died in combat in Vietnam, as one of the Black Lions.
The men of the 28th Infantry Regiment who died with him that day, were all part of a team.
The Black Lion Award represent that sense of team, as the Black Lion is not an individual award, but is intended to go to a player who personifies “team play.”
The award recipient is a person of character, like Holleder, who demonstrates leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and-above all-an unselfish concern for the team ahead of himself, according to athletic director Vicki Nelms.
“I enjoyed most of the year because of the players, having my friends around me almost everyday,” said Brewer. “All of us working hard and having fun playing football.”
One former Hilltopper that exemplified this from the beginning was AD and coach, William McWilliams and the Black Lion Award is given each year, in his honor.
McWilliams was the first coach and AD at Los Alamos High School. He ran the athletics program at LAHS starting in 1946, just as the curtain was being pulled back on Los Alamos and information about the Manhattan Project was becoming known to the general public.
At the time, LAHS was preparing to graduate a grand total of six students.
Times were different then as McWilliams coached football, basketball and track and laid the foundation for the Hilltopper athletic programs of today.
Nelms said McWilliams put together supplies bought off the shelf in Los Alamos’ green and gold colors were selected and the team was fielded for state interscholastic competition.
This year, Brewer received invitations to two Top Gun linebacker camps, has earned seven varsity letters to date and has recently been invited to play in the Texas vs. the World Classic football game, which is scheduled for Presidents Day weekend.
“Peter worked hard this year to lead his teammates. His dedications and sacrifice for his team made his a great example of what a Black Lion award winner should be,” said Hilltopper head coach Garret Williams. “He did a great job this year showing his teammates the kind of character that is expected from a Hilltopper athelete.”
Brewer’s family knows that football has opened many doors for Peter.
“Peter could have quit football after middle school, but he didn’t,” said mom Sarah. “It is difficult to play on the offensive and defensive line for most of your high school career. It took an enormous amount of courage for an athlete like Peter to play the line like he did, and not quit.”
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, with mom earning three varsity letters in softball and dad Roger earning eight varsity letters in football, basketball and tennis during their respective high school careers.
Nelms said she was impressed with what she saw out of Brewer during his career.
“I think Peter Brewer represents this award for what it truly means,” said Nelms. “He is a team player and someone who has worked hard to improve himself to be the best he can be. He always has put the team ahead of himself. I think this is a tremendous honor for an outstanding young man.”