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Delaughter serves as Loyd Star’s minister

Recognized for his exploits on offense and defense with the LoydStar Hornets, senior linebacker/fullback Matthew Delaughter alsocould be known as Minister For The Defense. In his spare time heserves as a leader in the Youth Ministry program at Mt. ZionBaptist Church.

He was credited with 18 tackles in Loyd Star’s 48-14 trouncingof the Enterprise Yellow Jackets. For his performance, Delaughterhas been selected The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of the Weekfor the second week of the 2003 season.

Notified of his honor, Delaughter didn’t hesitate to thank hisCreator. “First of all, I want to thank God. I hope to glorify Himthrough what I do on the football field.”

The Hornets are off to a 2-0 start this year and are one victoryaway from matching last season’s win total. The 3-7 record was adramatic crash for the Hornets who were South State 2A runners-upto Gulfport St. John in 2001.

“We have a great group of seniors on this team,” saidDelaughter. “We have a lot of desire to improve on 3-7 of lastyear. We all worked real hard this summer in the weight room and wetried to improve our speed.”

Delaughter (6-0, 200) made some impressive gains in the weightroom. He added 25 pounds to his physique, mostly muscle. “I kept myspeed at 4.8,” in the 40-yard dash.

Second-year head coach Sidney Wheatley said he appreciatesDelaughter’s dedication and enthusiasm. “Matthew is the kind ofplayer that coaches just love to have. He is 150 percent on thefield. He does all those extra things that you love a player todo.

“Matthew is very well prepared for every game,” Wheatley noted.”He is a very smart, instinctive player and he’s a leader,too.”

A 3-year starter on defense, Delaughter is a strong runner atfullback, too. He rushed for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20carries against Enterprise.

“Matthew has worked real hard this past offseason,” saidWheatley. “His bench is around 275 and his squat has increased. Hehas put on about 30 pounds.”

Delaughter said the coaching staff had the defense well preparedfor Enterprise’s confusing Notre Dame Box offense. “First of all,we had to take on the blockers when they came at us. We focused on59 (Josh Tanner) their up back.”

Delaughter said Loyd Star’s defensive line did an excellent job,helping outside linebackers Michael Britt and Duane Britt to makemany of the tackles. The front line includes Barry Roberts and JoshReed at end, and Cory Charpentier, Shaun Broxson and Justin Russellat the tackles.

“Our secondary had to watch for a reverse pass,” saidDelaughter. “They had to stay back and be patient.”

He said strong safety Will Hill often comes up and blitzes likea linebacker. Derek Smith works at free safety. The Hornets havespeed at cornerback in Josh Townsend and Juron Collins.

Delaughter said he has been encouraged by Loyd Star’s newoffense, a double wing alignment. “The coaches did a good jobteaching us. It really fits our team.”

His father, Randy is working as an assistant coach this year.His mother, Jan, teaches math at Loyd Star and coaches thefastpitch softball team.

An honor roll student, Delaughter maintains a 4.0 GPA in theclassroom. Naturally, his favorite subject is math. “My mom isteaching me trigonometry and it’s tough.”

Looking to the future, Delaughter said he would love to playcollege football while continuing his education. “I’d like to havesome kind of career in the medical field, something that will helppeople. I’ll do whatever God leads me to.”

A big Nebraska fan, he attended a Cornhusker summer footballcamp two years ago and was impressed by the program. “They haveabout 20 squat machines in the weight room. Their indoor practicefacility has a sprinkling system in the roof so the coaches canmake it rain if they are expecting to play on a wet field.”

Besides football, Delaughter excels in baseball where he playscatcher for the division champion Hornets.