Versatile Blackwell makes major impact on gridiron

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BOGUE CHITTO – Jermaine Blackwell wears jersey No. 60 for the Bogue Chitto Bobcats. Football fans can watch him play linebacker, offensive guard and running back.

     Linebacker was Blackwell’s most productive position Friday night. He accounted for 11 tackles in leading the Bobcats to a 28-6 homecoming victory against the Mount Olive Pirates.

     That effort has earned Blackwell The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week award.

     “Jermaine is very quick and he has pretty good speed for his size,” said Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin. “He’s one of the most physical players on our team. He’s a hard-hitting linebacker for us and he’s been starting since the ninth grade.”

     Blackwell, a 5-foot-10, 220-pound junior, makes his presence felt  on offense and defense. The Bobcats (3-0) currently are ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A Associated Press Prep Poll.

     “I was trying to do my best,” answered Blackwell, when asked about his defensive effort against Mount Olive. “We should have never given up a touchdown.”

     Blackwell and his teammates had started the season with back-to-back shutouts of Class 2A neighbors Loyd Star and Enterprise. Mount Olive was the first Region 4-1A test of the season.

     “We want to score a lot of points and we want zero points on the other side of the scoreboard,” said Blackwell. “We have to work hard in practice and get a lot better.”

     His twin brother, Jeremy, was Defensive Player of the Week three weeks ago. His older brother, James, is a senior linebacker and running back. James returned a kickoff 78 yards for a  touchdown against Mt. Olive. James and Jeremy each made 10 tackles in the victory.

     They are the sons of James and Yvette Blackwell, both former BC athletes.

     “I talk to my brothers and get them fired  up,” said Jermaine. “I pass some licks and they start passing licks.”

     That means bad news for opponents. The sibling rivalry is intense. All three are members of BC’s state championship powerlifting team. Jermaine finished second  in the 220-pound division.

     Jermaine said a state championship in football is BC’s team goal. “We want to win state and get a championship ring.”

     He showed some of his potential at running back against Mt. Olive. Displaying balance, speed, quickness and strength, he gained 32 yards on 4 carries in the fourth quarter and scored a touchdown on an 8-yard run with 8:00 left in the game.

     Sartin said he needs Blackwell at guard the most, because of the team’s lack of depth in the offensive line. He could see more duty at tailback next season.

     In the meantime, Blackwell is happy helping the Bobcats any way he can. In his spare time, he follows the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints.