Bowman makes big impact on defense

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 18, 2003

Jessie Bowman speaks softly and carries a big stick. A fiercecompetitor on the football field, the Brookhaven junior is knownfor his hard hitting and vise-grip tackles on opposing quarterbacksand running backs.

Bowman (6-0, 305) accounted for 10 tackles in last Fridaynight’s 20-0 shutout of the Clinton Arrows. For his performance,Bowman has been chosen The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of theWeek for the third week of the 2003 campaign.

Displaying a pleasant smile, Bowman said he was happy to receivethe award. “My coaches put me in the right position. All week theywere stressing to play with your hands.”

Strong and quick, Bowman is a hands-on football player. “I comeoff the ball low and run my hands. You put your hands on them(blockers) to see the spacing and see where the ball is going.

“I love playing defensive tackle,” Bowman continued. “You canpin your ears back and go hit somebody. I enjoy hitting.”

A varsity starter since his freshman year, Bowman started in theoffensive line and played tackle and guard. He was moved to defenselast season.

“We play as one on defense,” said Bowman. “I love playing forCoach (Rod) Henderson, Coach (Trevor) Brister and Coach (Patrick)Hardy. I love the whole coaching staff.”

Bowman’s fondness for football is reflected in his enthusiasm.He has the physical skills to help him dominate an opposingblocker. He can bench press 330 pounds, squat with 550 and deadlift550. He runs a 5.2 in the 40.

Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey said he appreciates Bowman’scontributions to the team’s success. “Jessie is a good solidfootball player. He is one of those guys who comes to work hard andplays every day.

“Jessie has good size, strength and speed,” Peavey continued.”He has the combination of everything.”

Bowman said he enjoys school and improving his academic skills.”The teachers love him,” said Peavey.

Football requires a high level of intensity and Bowman said hebelieves in following that routine. “We play every down like it’sour last one.”

His mother, Barbara Herring, is one of his biggest fans. Hisfather, Jessie Bowman, Sr., was a standout athlete at Enterpriseseveral years ago.

In Brookhaven’s defensive line, Bowman is joined by Zach Ray attackle and Phillips Tobias and Julius Brown at end. The line hasreceived plenty of accolades from opposing coaches, the latestcompliments coming from Clinton head coach Pete Hurt.

“That’s the best defensive line we’ve played against,” said Hurtafter the Arrows were shut out. His Clinton team had defeatedMeridian in the season opener and lost to Brandon the next week byidentical 14-7 margins.

Bowman said the Panthers were pointing for a shutout. “It feltgood to shut out Clinton. We want to get another one Fridaynight.

“We are a close team,” said Bowman. “We get down on one knee andtalk before every play.”

The Panthers are off to a 2-1 start this season and play theirfirst Region 6-4A game Friday night, hosting the Jackson WingfieldFalcons. Kickoff is 7:30.