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Brook’s Hill calls the plays at middle linebacker

Ty Hill emulates the leadership qualities of Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. The Brookhaven junior roams the field as a hard-hitting middle linebacker.

     Hill accounted for 11 tackles, in Brookhaven’s 31-0 Friday night shutout of Stone County at Wiggins. That performance has earned him The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week honors.

     “Ty has a very high motor,” said Ole Brook coach Tommy Clopton. “He plays the game wide-open all the time. He’s a very coachable player, too. He calls our defense for us and gets us in the right position to  make plays.”

     Clopton said Hill has a nose for the football. “He does a great job on picking up tendencies from week to week. He’s a quick football player. He’s very aggressive and plays with a lot of emotion.”

     Off the field, Hill’s bright smile lights up the room. He is the son of Ross and Phyllis Hill. His brother, Ross Jr., is a freshman wide receiver at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He has an older brother, Anthony Johnson, who lives in Laurel.

     For Hill (6-1, 205), football is a family affair. His first cousin, Jonah Hill, starts in the BHS secondary and has been named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches South All-Star squad. Two more cousins, Chris Calcote and Marcus Coleman, work alongside him at linebacker.

     Hill, who wears jersey No. 41, said he appreciated the Player of the Week honors. The Panthers (4-4, 3-2) are busy preparing for a Friday night home game against Region 3-5A leader Wayne County.

     He said middle linebacker was made for him. “I love it. I like to tackle people. I find the ball carrier and hit him.”

     Hill compared Brook’s defense to a large family. “We have a bond. We play every snap to the whistle.”

     Stone County was a run-oriented option team. The Panthers were ready to stuff the Tomcats.

     Working in Brook’s defensive line are JaBoree Poole and Leo Lewis at end, and Josh Thomas and Marquis Price at tackle.

     Chaz Allen is Brook’s new defensive coordinator. Allen also starred at linebacker during his years at BHS.

     “Coach Allen likes to blitz,” said Hill. “He wants you to be physical in all phases of the game.”

     Asked about Clopton, who is in his first year at the BHS helm, Hill said, “He’s all about going to work and giving 100 percent effort day in and day out. He’s fun to be around, too.”

     The Panthers are battling for a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs. Victories against Wayne County and South Jones the next two weeks would put them in great position.

     “We need to beat Wayne County,” said Hill. “They run the option and zone reads. They can throw it deep, too.”

     Looking ahead, Hill said he wants to play college football and pursue a career in physical therapy. He keeps up with the Florida Gators on Saturdays and the Baltimore Ravens on Sundays.