Despite the fact his team finished with an overall record of 3-7 and a District 6-3A Division I record of 1-5, Jefferson athletic director and head football coach Antwain Jimmerson said he considers the 2020 football season a success.
“I’m happy with a lot of things though as I look back on the season,” Jimmerson said. “We have a lot of good kids. We have Chris Shepard who has multiple offers, Dontavion Gardner, Malik Brasher, Jordan Friday and Carlos Jackson, kids who have multiple offers right now. Plus, that’s not counting Zion (Hopes) who has signed with University of Tulsa.
“Dontavion Gardner hadn’t caught a pass for us before this year and he was our leading receiver,” Jimmerson continued. “So there were some bright spots. You can even look at Malik Brasher, our tailback, he almost got to 1,000, rushed for over 900 yards.”
Jimmerson added the success of his team goes way beyond numbers.
“I think over the course of the year, we ended up developing some leaders, some kids who you feel like will be successful down the road,” Jimmerson offered. “That’s the ultimate goal. People sitting in the stands don’t understand a coach’s process in developing young men but our ultimate goal is for them to all be successful in whatever they choose to do. In playing, I think you learn how to deal with adversity and some of the stuff that you have to learn to deal with, which is no different than life because you’re going to have to learn how to deal with adversity. So the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the more successful you’re going to be in life.”
When he looks back on this past season, Jimmerson said there are several moments that stand out above the rest.
“Game one this year was the first time my wife has not been at one of my games,” he said. “It was actually our son’s birthday, our son who passed. So she went back to Tulsa for a balloon release on his birthday. It was just an odd moment for me before the game. I talked to the kids and they knew my son had passed and I told them, ‘This is the first time my wife hasn’t been here.’ It was really hard, emotionally. I couldn’t even talk to my wife after the game. It was just full of emotions and then you see kids in that moment, like Josh Thomas, he breaks a touchdown for about 60 yards to win the game. You see some kids who have been waiting for that moment as well. You just want them to have success and make plays and he made one of the biggest plays in the game to break a run for about 60.
“The kids have gotten better,” he added. “A coach can look beyond the scoreboard. At the end of the day, you’re going to remember moments. You’re probably not going to remember the score because the score doesn’t matter. You’ll remember kids making plays. You remember kids being happy. You’ll remember their faces in the locker room after a win.”
Jimmerson said he looks forward to more moments like that in the future and is optimistic about what lies ahead for his Bulldogs.