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Poole chalks up 19 tackles against Lawrence Co.

JaBoree Poole smiled broadly when informed of  his latest football honor. Brookhaven’s senior defensive end was credited with 19 tackles and a quarterback sack in last Thursday’s 34-7 win against Lawrence County.

     That performance earned Poole The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week recognition.

     “It feels great,” said Poole. His career-best tackle total surpassed the 13 stops he made last year versus Lawrence County.

     A gifted athlete, Poole stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 230 pounds. He has made a verbal commitment to sign with Southern Miss in early February, 2013.

     Ole Brook head coach Tommy Clopton praised Poole’s skills and football knowledge. “JaBoree is one of those kids who is fun to be around. He’s a great player and a great person.

     “He knows what to do on Friday nights,” Clopton continued. “He has a nose for the football and he has a high motor. He’s a great technician and he knows how to use his hands on defense.”

     Poole paused for a few minutes after practice Tuesday. School dismissed students early because of the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Isaac.

     “I knew I had a lot of  tackles but I didn’t know I had that many,” said Poole, recalling the game. Lawrence County didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter. The Cougars are happy to see No. 85 graduating next May.

     Poole said he started wearing No. 85 in the 10th grade. Coaches considered using him at tight end, too.

     Defense is Poole’s pleasure and the opposing team’s headache.

     “My main job is to keep the backs contained,” said Poole. “You get to sack the quarterback, too.”

     Poole and tackle Josh Thomas were two of the veterans returning on defense this season. Thomas sustained a sprained knee early in the game but young players stepped up and played well.

     Working at the other end for BHS is sophomore Leo Lewis. At tackle are Marquise Price and Thomas. Linebackers are Chris Calcote and Tyris Hill. Jonah Hill intercepted a pass against Lawrence County.

     Poole is the 17-year old son of  Rochland and Bryce Porter. He has  a younger brother, Bryson, 7; and sister,  Braelyn, 5.

     Chaz Allen coached Poole last year when he earned Class 5A All-State honors. Allen was promoted to defensive coordinator when Kelby Bowman departed for Madison Central.

     “Coach Chaz was our defensive line coach last year,” said Poole. “I know he has high expectations.”

     Poole said he likes playing for Coach Clopton. “He gets after everybody’s butt. He’s a good coach.”

     Asked about his favorite food, Poole said he likes mashed potatoes with cheese the best. His favorite dessert is pecan pie.

     Poole also competes in track, throwing the discus and shot put. In his spare time, he enjoys watching the Dallas Cowboys and 8-year veteran linebacker DeMarcus Ware. “I like how he gets after the quarterback.”

     The Panthers are scheduled to visit the Hazlehurst Indians Friday night for a big showdown. Last year, they nipped Hazlehurst 7-6.

     “I heard they (Indians) have been talking a lot of noise,” said Poole. “They say we cheated them last year. They have a good team so we will have to be ready to play them.”

     Hazlehurst advanced to the Class 3A state championship game last season, losing to Charleston in the title test. The Indians finished 12-2.

     Poole believes the Panthers have a strong shot at returning to the state playoffs this year and making a run at the state title. They were Class 5A state runners-up to West Point in 2010.