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Sessums sparkles as runner, passer

Brookhaven Academy senior quarterback Jake Sessums uses hisspeed, agility and leadership as a major force in the success ofthe Cougars each week.

Brookhaven Academy senior quarterback Jake Sessums uses hisspeed, agility and leadership as a major force in the success ofthe Cougars each week. Last Friday against Rebul Academy, Sessumscompleted 7 of 16 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He alsorushed the football five times for 159 yards and ran for threetouchdowns, giving him 376 yards total offense.

For his accomplishments, Sessums has been selected TheDaily Leader’s Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth weekof the 2000 season.

“I guess it’s an honor,” said Sessums. “I’m glad to get theaward, It’s just that awards should go to the team. It’s a teamsport. Without the rest of the guys, I wouldn’t have gottenit.”

Sessums, who stands 6-foot and weighs 155 pounds, runs a 40in 4.62. In the weight room, he bench presses 175 pounds and squats315 pounds.

Brookhaven Academy head coach Doug Clanton recognizes theability of Sessums. “I’ve had Jake for two years. He’s a seniorthis year and he was matured a great deal.

“He has worked hard in the weight room this summer. He hasdeveloped into a leader for us on the field and off thefield.”

Sessums said it took a year for him and the Cougars to getused to their new head coach.

“This year, he (Clanton) has us focused on playing,” saidSessums. “He helps us win the games. He has a real on-fieldpresence and enthusiasm.”

Sessums also credited Clanton and assistant coaches BarryGray and Neil King for preparing their game plan eachweek.

When asked about the win over Rebul, Sessums explained hisopinion of how the Cougars played. “As a whole, we didn’t play aswell as we could have. We’re injured right now. Our offense pickedit up. We We don’t have the people because of injuries.”

Sessums was satisfied with his own contributions. “I felt Iplayed alright,” he said. “Going into the game, I wanted to getback, plant my foot and make good passes. Stuff happens so you haveto take it the way it falls.”

Sessums credited his offensive line with helping him. Theyinclude center Jason McGuffie, guards Cal Hodges and Chase Mageeand tackles Ben Sandifer and Carl Craig.

“Passing-wise, Jake has good ability to find the openreceiver,” Clanton explained. “He has a strong arm. We don’t do areal good job blocking for him and he has to scramble for hislife.

“Sometimes, that’s the best play we have when he scrambles.He’s an elusive runner. It’s amazing some of the moves he has madethis year.”

This week, Brookhaven Academy (3-2) prepares for winlessClass AAA Central Private. “We’ll be able to run on their defense,”Sessums stated. “They pass it a lot. Our secondary and pass rushwill be the key. It’s a matter of whether we can stop them fromscoring.”

The Cougars’ goal at the beginning to the season was to winconference and enter the state playoffs. Sessums says that hasn’tchanged despite the loss to conference rival Columbia Academy twoweeks ago.

“The loss to Columbia was a disappointment,” said Sessums.”We have to win our district games from now on. We want to improveand get better at the end of the season.”

Sessums also plays basketball for Coach Dale Watts. Lastyear, he played a guard position.

Sessums, named to The Daily Leader’s All-Lincoln CountyFootball Team as a junior, passed for over 1,200 yards in 1999. Hesays he plans to attend Ole Miss following graduation. His major isundecided and he says he may pursue sports if the opportunity isthere.

The Rebels are his favorite college football team. Hefollows the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL.

Sessums says he likes to relax and watch TV during his sparetime. He also writes sports part-time for The DailyLeader.