Sinclair shines on defense

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2002

WESSON – Willie Sinclair finally got tired of standing on thesideline watching his Cobra teammates have all of the fun. Duringspring practice, Wesson head coach Ronald Greer gave Sinclair hischance. Sinclair made the best of the opportunity and has startedas defensive end this year.

In last week’s 30-6 win over Prentiss, Sinclair (6-2, 210), ajunior, led the Wesson defense with 12 tackles.

For his achievements, Sinclair has been named as The DailyLeader’s Defensive Player of the Week for the third week ofthe 2002 football season.

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“I’m very thankful,” said Sinclair. “I wish we could get it(award) for the team. We play as a unit, not as an I.”

Sinclair runs a 40 in 5.1 seconds. He bench presses 235 poundsand squats 395 pounds.

“He had a great off season in the weight room,” said Greer. “Heworked hard all summer.”

Sinclair had his opinion about how his team played Fridayagainst a hard-hitting Prentiss team. “They (Prentiss) were a goodteam. We didn’t play to our expectations in the first (half). Wedid in the second half. They were physical.”

Greer was pleased with Sinclair and the overall defense.

“The Cobras played exceptional pass defense against Prentiss,”explained Greer. “The defensive line put pressure on thequarterback.

“Our big thing was to try an put some pressure on theirquarterback and keep him contained,” continued Greer. “We didn’tgive him all day to throw.”

Sinclair was also proud of the Cobra defense. His front lineteammates include Josh McCormick at nose guard; Johnny Butler andIra Shoop at tackle; Russell Robinson, Charles Powell, Kyle Smithand Lavell Jackson at linebackers. Regular end Matt Ishman is outwith a broken hand.

“We hope to get better each week, ” Sinclair explained of theteam’s commitment.

Sinclair and the Cobras respect this Friday night’s opponent,Franklin County, a team Wesson has never beaten the Bulldogs. Thegame will be played at Meadville.

“We must be fundamentally sound,” explained Sinclair. “We wantto go out there with intensity and play hard. We have a good chanceof winning.”

Wesson set some team goals at the start of the football season.Sinclair explained them. “We want to defend our division title. Wewant to play in Jackson at the Big House (Veterans MemorialStadium). We want to be a physical team and have class.”

Sinclair takes his responsibilities as an end seriously andtalked about what Greer and the staff expect him to do.

“Basically, to keep outside containment,” Sinclair stated. “Andgo to the ball and make the tackle.”

There is another Sinclair on the Wesson football team, Firstcousin, Emanuel, a senior. Emanuel (5-9, 164) is the startingtailback who rushed for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in thePrentiss win. Emanuel’s older brother, Sam, played for the Cobras afew years back.

Willie enjoys playing football with his older cousin, “I enjoyplaying with him. We try to encourage each other as much as wecan.”

In his spare time, Sinclair likes to watch football ontelevision. His favorite college football team is the Florida StateSeminoles.

Sinclair’s favorite class is history.

In the NFL, Sinclair follows the Baltimore Ravens and hisfavorite player is Ray Lewis..

Sinclair offered thanks for his coaches, teammates andcommunity. “I would like to thank my team and coaches. The peoplehere encourage us to be our best. I thank the team. It wouldn’t bepossible without them. On offense and defense, the whole nineyards. We give it our all.”