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James makes the most of sr. year

Brookhaven Academy strong safety Jeremy James has become a nicesurprise for the Cougars this year. James had not played footballsince the eighth grade but decided to come out for the team hissenior year.

In last Friday’s 36-14 win over the Manchester Mavericks, Jamescollected 10 tackles in the Cougars’ triumph.

For his accomplishments, James has been selected The DAILY LEADER’sDefensive Player of the Week.

When asked about being Defensive Player of the Week, James smiledand said, “It’s an honor. It’s my first time.”

James stands 6 foot and weighs 175 pounds. He runs a 40-yard dashin 4.9.

“I’m glad I did come back,” said James. “I figured since it was mylast year I would play everything.”

James also plays forward on the soccer team and third base on thebaseball team.

Brookhaven Academy coach Bo Milton said that James has been apleasant surprise this year.

“Jeremy is a real good ball player,” said Milton. “He is one of ourbiggest surprises this year. He hadn’t played since the 8th grade.He is athletic and he is very tough.

“Jeremy worked last summer in the weight room,” added Milton. “Heis a strong kid.”

James said last week’s win over Manchester was his best defensivegame of the year. He felt it was a great team effort.

“As far as our team, everybody played great,” explained James. “Wehad to step it up since Kolby (Byrd) didn’t play a lot.”

Byrd, a junior linebacker, was he team’s leading tackler. Hesustained a sprained ankle in the Columbia Academy game three weeksago.

James listed the other Cougars who play in the defensive backfieldwith him. They include Steven Watts, Nathanael Sbravati, Byrd andDaniel Lofton at linebacker. Jonathan White and Corey Dickerson arecornerbacks.

This week, BA hosts Oak Forest who beat the Cougars 18-12 in doubleovertime Aug. 31, in the second game of the season.

“We weren’t ready physically,” said James of losing to the YellowJackets in their first encounter. “Oak Forest ran the ball onus.”

James said the Cougars know what they must do to beat the YellowJackets this week.

“We need to shut down their running game. I think we have a goodchance of winning if we stop their running game.”

Following graduation, James said he would like to attend Co-Lin for2 years and major in nursing.

“I’d like to thank Coach Milton for helping me stick with thesummer workouts when it got hard.”

James said the toughest thing about getting back in shape forfootball was the running. He was used to the weight room workbecause he lifted to stay in shape for baseball.

“I’d like to thank my parents, Becky Barron and Troy James,” addedJames.

In his spare time, James enjoys following the LSU Tigers and theGreen Bay Packers.

Notable Efforts

Area players who had notable performanceson defense last week were Franklin County’s AlJoshua Tillman, 12tackles; and Alex Smith, 2 interceptions; West Lincoln’s KolbyBurris, 16 tackles.