O-linemen help Wilson succeed

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Brookhaven running back Charles Wilson made his last home gameon King Field a special night to remember. Wilson rushed 22 timesfor 214 yards and 5 touchdowns, powering the Panthers to a 42-20Region 6-4A victory over the Lawrence County Cougars.

For his performance, Wilson has been named The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week for the 10th week of the 2006 season.Wilson (5-9, 180, sr.) enjoys the glory but he is quick to sharecredit with his teammates. His offensive line drew specialpraise.

“I couldn’t do anything without my offensive line,” said Wilson.”My line was shaky last year because they were all new,” after OleBrook won the 2004 state championship.

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“But now, after spring practice and summer workouts, we are allstronger and faster,” Wilson noted. He also has become a student ofthe game, watching how his blockers perform on game films.

Plowing the path for Wilson are tackles Darion Smith and GradyAutman, guards Skyler Smith and Courtney Clark, and center TaylorNewman. Their offensive line coach is Mike Powell.

Wilson said he doesn’t have a favorite offensive play. “I likeall the running plays.”

For the season, Wilson has 193 rushes for 1,390 yards and 25touchdowns. He also has 1 punt return for a touchdown, breaking hisfather’s single season TD record of 25, which was set in 1973.

He is the son of Charles and Brenda Wilson. His younger brother,Ty, an eighth grader at Alexander Junior High, plans to playfootball and basketball at BHS.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey has watched Wilson mature asa player and a student.

“Charles understands what we do because he has done it a longtime,” said Peavey. “He runs with great vision and quickness. Hereads the blocks well.”

Friday night Wilson was cutting back and making the tacklersmiss, including an 80-yard scamper. He was being patient andwaiting for blocks to develop.

Peavey said Wilson has improved in other areas, too. “He alsohas become a much better pass blocker which is a great improvementfor him.”

The Panthers (6-4, 4-2) begin state playoff action Friday nightat Vancleave. They are seeded No. 3 out of Region 6-4A. Vancleave(6-3, 4-2) is the No. 2 seed out of Region 7-4A.

Asked about his college plans, Wilson said, “Right now I’mtrying to get my grades up and worry about the playoffs.

“I think we can make it in the playoffs and go back to Jackson,”location of the state championship game. “We should be 9-1. We lostsome close games. We weren’t mentally prepared for Kosciusko,” a34-13 road loss two weeks ago.

“Anything can happen in the playoffs,” said Wilson. “Our offensecan score and our defense is getting better.”

Newman and Smith are both seniors in the BHS offensive line.Although they don’t get much recognition on Friday nights, theyappreciate Wilson’s rushes.

“It’s exciting when Charles makes a big run,” said Smith. “Thatmeans we are doing our job.”

Smith said the offensive line is working as a unit. “We aremaking plays and big plays together. We are all on the samepage.”

Newman agreed. “We know each other and we hang out together. Oursuccess is not an individual thing. If we don’t work together, noneof our backs are going to get any yards.”

According to Newman, watching Wilson run the football for biggains is a rewarding experience. “It makes you feel good,especially when you work up to a linebacker. You can can seeCharles out of the corner of your eye and know that he is going tomake some good yards.”

Wilson runs a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash. He bench presses 235pounds and squats with 395.

Weightlifting workouts have helped Wilson improve his strengthand speed since he was a sophomore. He realizes the effort requiredto be successful.

“When I first got here as a sophomore, all I wanted to do wasrun the football,” said Wilson. “I was hard-headed and not seriousabout lifting weights.

“Lifting weights has made me stronger and faster,” he pointedout. “Lifting is important.”

Looking to the future, Wilson said he plans to share hisfootball knowledge as a coach and teacher. “I want to help kids. Ididn’t like sports at first but I played because my mom and dadwanted me to. Now I love it.”

Ole Brook fans love to watch Wilson run the football, too.


Birthday: Oct. 6, 1988.

Food: McDonald’s.

Dessert: Ice cream.

TV Show: Two-A-Days.

Movie: Friday Night Lights.

Music: Lil Boosie.

Subject: Human Anatomy.

College: Miami.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens.

NFL Player: Michael Vick.