Townsend provides big sting for Hornets

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Josh Townsend provided the biggest sting Friday night as theLoyd Star Hornets smashed Wesson 40-11 in a Division 6-2A showdownon William E. “Sambo” Smith Field. The junior wingback scored threetouchdowns while rushing for 155 yards and catching 3 passes for 78yards as an overflow crowd estimated at 2,000 witnessed theencounter.

Townsend’s performance has earned him The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week award for the sixth week of the 2003campaign.

Townsend (5-10, 175) said he has fallen in love with Loyd Star’snew double wing offense. “I really like it. I don’t think anybodycan stop it when everybody executes.

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“We get good blocking from our offensive line.”

Providing blocks for Townsend are center Justin Russell, leftguard Blake Cain, left tackle Jarod Reid, right guard Barry Robertsand Rex Buie, right tackle Jonathan Smith and tight ends Josh Reedand Michael Britt.

Townsend said he runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. He benchpresses 235 pounds and squats with 305.

“Weightlifting makes us stronger and keeps us in shape,” saidTownsend.

Loyd Star head coach Sidney Wheatley said Townsend is anoutstanding running back, blessed with breakaway speed. “Josh has alot of speed. He has gotten bigger and added some muscle. You maycontain him for a play or two but he has that potential to go thedistance on you at any time.”

Wheatley said opposing teams have difficulty preparing for LoydStar’s multiple attack. “You hate to face that guy who can take itthe distance on any play. Josh has good vision in our double wingoffense. He and (tailback) Juron Collins are both starting to seethe offense better.”

Townsend said his favorite offensive play is Super Sweep Left.”The two guards pull and the fullback and quarterback block for me.They do a great job blocking.”

Townsend scored on runs of 70 and 16 yards. He caught a 62-yardscoring pass from quarterback Justin Whatley as the Hornets forgeda 21-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Townsend went 47 yardsfor a score.

“Matthew Delaughter and Juron Collins run the ball real well,”said Townsend. “Justin Whatley does a good job at quarterback.”

He lives with his mother, Sandra Townsend. His father is WillieTownsend. His older brother is Marcus Shannon, a former Loyd Startailback who was chosen DAILY LEADER Player of the Year on theAll-Lincoln County Team.

Recalling his first TD catch of the season, Townsend said, “Itook three steps inside and cut back outside. I got behind thedefense and the quarterback laid it up there for me.”

Townsend said his older brother has helped him improve hisfootball skills. “I have learned a lot from Marcus. I love the passroutes and catching the football.”

A 2-way starter, Townsend also stars at cornerback. “I loveplaying cornerback. I can’t let nobody get behind me.”

Wheatley said Townsend is reserved and soft-spoken. “He’s a realquiet guy. The most I hear from him is, ‘Yes sir and no sir.’ Hehas really stepped it up a notch and matured over the lastyear.”

Townsend said he enjoys playing for Coach Wheatley. “He’s a goodcoach. I love playing for him.”

In the classroom, Townsend said he enjoys U.S. History the most.His favorite college team is Tennessee.

In the NFL, Townsend pulls for the San Francisco 49ers. Hisfavorite player is Tampa Bay defensive lineman Warren Sapp.

Asked about Loyd Star’s 6-0 start, Townsend is confident theHornets can continue their winning streak. “The hard work is payingoff. I think we can go all the way.”