Quarterback Kylan Thomas, running back Dee Black and kicker Landon Fuquay have been waiting for this moment for a while – their senior year to lead the Jefferson Bulldogs on the football field.
“It (being a senior) makes me want to go harder than I have before, not only for myself but for the team and the city,” Thomas said.
“It just adds motivation to put together all the stuff that we’ve been working on, especially on special teams, just trying to get the younger ones ready for the next level on varsity,” Fuquay added.
When asked what his expectations are on the season, Black simply said, “Go get it.”
“To go further than we did last year and to be overall better than we were last year,” Thomas said in answer to the question of expectations.
“I know Kylan and Dee are getting the guys ready on offense and defense,” Fuquay said. “We’ve got some guys this year and we’re putting it together. We’ve been growing as a family and as a team for the past four years.”
“It’s been going good,” Black said of practice and team workouts. “It’s going better than last year. We lost a couple but we’ve got a younger class coming up and they’re getting there. They’re getting better every day.”
“I think with being here and getting more reps, my game has improved mentally,” Thomas continued.
“I’ve been lucky to be blessed athletically, so I’ve been working on getting more mental reps and just really studying and keying in on what I need to watch and pay attention for.”
While they’re still at Jefferson, the seniors say they hope to pass down lessons to their underclassmen teammates.
Black said he hopes to pass down his “high expectations” while Thomas said he wants them to learn to “Always go as hard as you can, no matter what.
“The critics are going to talk and the haters are going to hate but as long as you do you thing, you should win many games.”
“I would like them to learn persistence,” Fuquay said. “When I came in, I could probably only kick a PAT but I worked at it and he (Jefferson athletic director and head football coach Antwain Jimmerson) saw me out here when he was turning on the sprinklers at night. I’m just out here practicing. If you work at your craft, you’ll get to where you want to be.”
“Landon Fuquay, he’s going to be one of the all-time scorers in school history, if we can score a few touchdowns this year,” Jimmerson said. “He’s going to be a four-year kicker for varsity, so he’s going to have a chance to be one at the top. His freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, he was an all-district kicker, which says a lot going into his senior year. He’s really worked hard.
“Dee Black went for over 2,000 yards last year,” the coach added. “I think he had over 1,700 rushing. He rushed for over 26 touchdowns and he ended up with over 30 total. So he’s just a special talent, he really is. Kylan started for us at quarterback and receiver for us last year. He ended up with 1,200 yards of offense.”
Jimmerson said he wants to enjoy the year but is in no rush to get it over.
“Those guys have a lot of success from the time they were in junior high,” Jimmerson offered. “I think they’ve been rushing it more than we have. They’ve been counting down to their senior year but the coaches haven’t. We want it to slow down. We want to enjoy the ride with those guys. It’s a really good group.”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to kick off the season Thursday at 7 p.m. when they play host to Pittsburg.