Thornton ministers for Wesson defense

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2000

When you’re 5-foot-5 and weigh180 pounds, you have got to betough as nails to play defense.

When you’re 5-foot-5 and weigh180 pounds, you have got to betough as nails to play defense. Senior Chris Thornton playsdefensive end for the Wesson Cobras and takes his responsibilitiesseriously. He could serve as minister for the defense.

In Wesson’s 23-7 win over St. Aloysius last Friday night,Thornton led the Cobra defense with 13 tackles and a fumblerecovery. For his accomplishments, Thornton has been selectedThe Daily Leader ‘s Defensive Player of the Week.

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“It’s a real honor,” said Thornton. “I am veryprivileged.”

Thornton runs a 40-yard dash in 5.4. On the weights, hebench presses 275 pounds and squats 350 pounds.

Wesson head football coach Ronald Greer gets Thornton’sutmost respect. “He (Greer) is a good role model and he’s a goodcoach. He’s been like a father figure for the last fouryears.”

Last year, Thornton started at center and nose tackle. Hehas been playing offensive guard and defensive end thisyear.

“He’s not very big in stature but he plays with a lot ofdesire,” said Coach Greer. “His motor is wide open all the time. Heis an extremely strong kid for his size.”

Thornton said he and the Cobras did well against St.Aloysius but they could have done more. “We played real hard,”Thornton said. “Problem was we didn’t dominate the whole game. Aswe go along, we’ll get better.”

Making the 13 tackles and recovering the fumble was ahighlight for Thornton in the win. He will tell you that teams winthe ball games.

“I was very pleased,” explained Thornton of his individualaccomplishments. “But it took the team to win the ball game. If itwasn’t for the rest of the team doing their job, I couldn’t havedone mine.”

Thornton reviewed his responsibilities as defensiveend.

“Keep containment,” Thornton said. “Keep the tight end andtackles off the line. Cut off the outside. You have to have a goodeye for the football. And think fast.”

This week, Wesson is on the road to Summit to face the NorthPike Jaguars.

“We need to make our defense more sharp,” Thornton said ofFriday’s game. “And our offensive line needs betterblocking.”

Thornton said the goals were simple; to have a winningseason and get better as a team.

Thornton is a member of the Cobra track team. He throws theshotput and discus. His best in the discus is 102 feet.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are Thornton’s favoritecollege football team.

Thornton’s hobbies outside of school are singing andpreaching. Following high school graduation, Thornton wants toattend Copiah-Lincoln Community College for two years and then theUniversity of Southern Mississippi. He wants to get a degree inministry or secular music.

“I like to sing and preach,” said Thornton. “I preached onceat Zion Hill Baptist Church. I had the honor of preaching. It’s oneof my career choices.”

Thornton is member of the Zion Hill youth group thatincludes 50 to 60 young people. Thornton appreciates what he hasaccomplished as a player and student.

“I’d like to give all the glory to God,” said Thornton.”Without Him, I would be nothing.

“And I would like to thank my teammates and coaches forbeing there,” added Thornton.