BA middle linebacker loves contact

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Football is a contact sport and Brookhaven Academy middlelinebacker Blake Killingsworth obviously loves contact.Killingsworth was credited with 25 tackles in last Friday night’svictory over the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams atWoodville.

For his performance, Killingsworth has been selected TheDaily Leader’s Defensive Player of the Week for the 10th weekof the 2001 campaign. He has helped the Cougars to a 9-1 recordthus far this season and they are on the verge of making the ClassAA state playoffs.

The No. 1 assignment for Killingsworth was to stop WCCA runningback Stephens McVea (5-10, 195), the Rams’ prime offensive weapon.McVea rushed for one touchdown and passed for another in the 28-20loss to Brookhaven.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Brookhaven Academy coach Ray Ishee recognized Killingsworth’sperformance. “I think McVea rushed the football 35 times and Ithink Blake tackled him 25 times. Blake loves contact and he washaving fun Friday night.”

Killingsworth (6-0, 210) wears a brace on his left knee, areminder of the torn ACL he suffered as a sophomore. He also wearsa plastic brace on his left ring finger to protect a torntendon.

“Blake has the temperament of a linebacker,” said Ishee. “He’ssmart. He’s tough and he loves the game.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Killingsworth relaxed on the couch in thecoach’s office and discussed the Cougars’ successful campaign. Heand McVea have known each other for several years.

“I like to hit (McVea) a lot because we’re friends,” saidKillingsworth. “I’ve know him for a long time; since junior high.At track meets we sit around and talk a lot about football.”

At middle linebacker, Killingsworth explained hisresponsibilities. “The first thing I do is look for thefootball.”

His favorite defensive play in the Butterfly-Bullets In. “Ourdefensive linemen slant out. The linebackers take the A gaps andstunt.”

The Cougars have been a pleasant surprise this season. Ishee wasnamed head coach and high school principal in May. He was Dean ofStudents at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and coached Co-Lin forfour years, winning a state title in 1985. Paul Anderson was hiredas an assistant coach and offensive coordinator. The Cougars haveenjoyed success with a No-Huddle offense.

“Our coaches are doing a good job,” said Killingsworth. “We havea lot of teamwork. Everybody is getting together and playinghard.”

Sophomore Johnathan Watts joins Killingsworth at middlelinebacker. Jeffrey Waycaster and Paul Coker work at outsidelinebacker. The defensive line includes Tyler Lofton and Cal Hodgesat end, and Wade Calcote, Jared Hall, and Eric Terry at tackle. Thesecondary includes Layne Moreton and Will Rushing at cornerback andChad Lagrone at safety.

“We’ve had a lot of good competition this year,” saidKillingsworth. He is he son of Ronnie and MarilynKillingsworth.

Looking to the future, Killingsworth said the Cougars need tobeat District 4-AA rival Bowling Green Friday night beforeadvancing to the state playoffs. He said he is undecided about hisfootball future but plans to attend Co-Lin.

Killingsworth said he bench presses 250 pounds. He prefersoutdoor recreation instead of spending his free time watchingfootball on television. He enjoys fishing and deer hunting,especially bow hunting.

Was he surprised by BA’s success level?

“I could feel it in August that we would have a good year,”answered Killingsworth. “Our seniors have been together since thefourth grade.”