Wallace calls BC’s season a blessing

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2001

BOGUE CHITTO – Linebacker John Wallace and his Bogue Chittoteammates are enjoying one of their school’s greatest footballcampaigns. The Bobcats hope the season gets sweeter next month whenthe state playoffs begin.

Wallace made sure the Bobcats remained in contention for theRegion 4-1A championship by collecting 19 tackles in lastThursday’s 32-7 triumph over the Salem Wildcats. For hisperformance, Wallace has been selected The Daily Leader’sDefensive Player of the Week for the eighth week of the 2001campaign.

Bogue Chitto (7-1, 5-1) is ranked No. 7 in this week’sAssociated Press Little Ten Poll. It’s the highest ever ranking forthe Bobcats who lost to No. 1 Mize 22-18 in the fourth week of theseason.

“This season has been a blessing,” said Wallace, his blue eyessmiling in the late afternoon sunshine. “God has blessed us withwellness. We get banged up but we are ready to go the nextweek.”

Besides a career-high 13 solo stops against Salem, Wallace alsorushed the football at fullback on offense. He gained 76 yards.

Bogue Chitto head coach Carl Cole recognizes the contributionsWallace has made as a senior. “John has done real well for us thisyear. He has been a main leader on our team for four years.

“John has been able to play through injuries,” Cole continued.”He has taken most of the snaps at fullback and he does a greatjob. You know you can’t replace him; just hope you have anotherlike him.”

Wallace (6-1, 200) is among 11 seniors on the squad. A torn ACLknee injury to tight end Scott Edwards in the second game of theseason has been the only serious injury for the Bobcats.

“Our seniors really work hard to set an example for theunderclassmen,” said Wallace. “That’s good for the team.”

Wallace said fellow inside linebacker Todd Davis makes his jobeasier. “The blockers will key on Todd so that leaves me free tomake the tackle.

“Our defensive line does a great job,” Wallace pointed out.”They’ll fill the gaps.”

Working in Bogue Chitto’s defensive line are twin tackles Caseyand Caleb McCaffrey, nose guard Anthony Stevenson and defensiveends Paul Martin and Barrett Wallace, John’s younger brother whohad 3 quarterback sacks against Salem.

“My biggest thing on defense is finding the ball and hittingsomebody,” said John Wallace. “I enjoy the physical contact.”

Two weeks ago, in the big region win over Dexter, Wallacedisplayed his fierce spirit. He has a scar over his right eye asproof. The cut required five stitches later that night.

Wallace recalled the Bogue Chitto kickoff coverage. “The guy(blocker) knocked my helmet off on the kickoff. I still fell off ofhim and made the tackle. They taped it (cut) back up and I wentback in.”

Like his teammates, Wallace and the Bobcats are aiming for theClass 1A state championship game at Mississippi Veterans MemorialStadium in Jackson. “We want a state championship but we must takeit one game at a time.”

An above average student in the classroom, Wallace said he wantsto play college football, preferably at Ole Miss. “I loved that OleMiss football camp I went to last year. I went to their homecominggame last weekend.”

Wallace said he would be willing to walk on at Ole Miss. Hewants to become a physical therapist.

On Sundays, he enjoys watching quarterback Peyton Manning andthe Indianapolis Colts. His favorite NFL team is the BaltimoreRavens. Favorite players to watch are linebackers Zach Lewis andRay Thomas.

According to Wallace, Bogue Chitto’s senior class is special.”We are a close group of seniors. We’ve been through the adversityof last year,” when two teammates and a cheerleader were killed inauto accidents on a Wednesday night before the season opener.

“We want to go to the top,” meaning a state title. “We have agood coaching staff; four great coaches who are Christians.”