Ferguson makes transition to football

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Not many athletes can make the transition from one sport toanother and do it well in just a few months.

Not many athletes can make the transition from one sport toanother and do it well in just a few months. Bogue Chitto juniorDenard Ferguson has accomplished that feat.

Known primarily for his basketball skills, Ferguson joined theBogue Chitto football team last summer with the encouragement ofhead football coach Carl Cole.

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Last Friday, Ferguson started for the first time ever andintercepted two passes as a free safety and returned a kickoff fora touchdown on special teams in Bogue Chitto’s tough 35-22 Division7-1A win over the Enterprise Yellow Jackets.

For his accomplishments, Ferguson has been selected TheDaily Leader’s Defensive Player of the Week for the sixth week ofthe 2000 season.

“It kind of caught me off guard,” smiled Ferguson, inreference to the Player of the Week selection. “I’ve got to thankGod for giving me the ability to play. And thank mom and dad and myteammates for supporting me.”

Ferguson, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 145 pounds, runs a40 in 4.5. He bench presses 185 pounds. He also carried thefootball eight times for 33 yards against Enterprise.

“It was the first game where he has started,” said Cole.”His folks didn’t want him playing football but he kind of talkedthem into it. He has learned the game well. He has lot of athleticability. I am looking for a lot of good things from him.”

Ferguson talked about the two pass interceptions lastFriday, both occurred inside the Bogue Chitto 10-yard line.”Enterprise ran an 8-44. The runner breaks wide out then back tothe sideline for the pass. The quarterback (Justin Kyzar) justthrew the ball and I was at the right place to intercept.”

Ferguson’s kickoff return was the turning point in the gameas Enterprise had just scored and cut Bogue Chitto’s led to sevenpoints, 29-22, with less than five minutes left in thegame.

“I was at the hash mark around the 15-yard line,” saidFerguson. “I took the football and broke for an 85 yards. “I guessit was a big play at the time.”

Cole agreed. “That kickoff return was a real nail in thecoffin. Enterprise had just made a great drive and they were makinga comeback. We were expecting an onside kick but we left (Ferguson)back. He managed to make something happen.”

Ferguson felt the win last Friday will be the key to theBobcats turning the season around.

“I believe the game is an opportunity to pick up where weleft off last year,” Ferguson explained. “Enterprise was good. Theywere ringing bells.”

Ferguson admitted his bells were ringing after heintercepted that first pass.

Ferguson credits Cole for getting him to come out and becomea good team player. “He (Cole) is one of my favorite coaches. He isalways there for us when we need him. He peps you up. He’s like afather figure on the football field.”

This week, Bogue Chitto visits Class 2A Wesson in anon-division game in Stone Stadium at Co-Lin.

“We have to play exactly as we played last Friday,” saidFerguson, if they want to beat Wesson. “Team work.”

Ferguson still feels the division championship is within thegrasp of Bogue Chitto. “We are going to come out the No. 1 team inthe division.”

As a starting guard for the Bogue Chitto basketball team,Ferguson finished last season with a 14.2 points per game average.He was named All-County and Division 7-1A honorable mention.Ferguson said he plans to try baseball this spring.

Ferguson’s favorite subject is math. “I have come a long wayas a student,” he added.

In the college football ranks, Ferguson likes VirginiaTech.

After graduation, Ferguson said he would like to get ascholarship and enter either the Navy or the Air Force.