Senior Quinten Jackson had a dilemma and had no choice but to face it.
The then sophomore was at Nation Ford and wanted to stay. A new school was opening across town and like so many other students he was going to be attending the new school in Catawba Ridge, whether he wanted to or not.
Jackson, 18, had been playing football since he was 12-years-old, was on the cusp of really doing something special with Nation Ford, when he knew he later going to Catawba Ridge. With that move came a lot of questions, especially when it came to football.
“I didn’t want to switch schools,” he said. “But I’m liking it a lot over here. It was a new experience.”
Jackson is one of several seniors on the Catawba Ridge football team that even in its second season has seen success. Some would say surprising success. Jackson isn’t one of them.
“It is what we expected,” he said. “We all knew what we could do. We haven’t stopped.”
Jackson said the belief in each other and the team as a whole has helped to mold them to a 6-1 team in the coronavirus shortened season and put them ranked as high as sixth in 4A. Jackson said the team relishes its role as the underdogs being just a second-year school.
“Nobody thought we were going to make the playoffs,” he said, smiling.
The 5’10” 165-pound Jackson will help lead Catawba Ridge into the second round of the playoffs tonight at 7:30 p.m. against Irmo. Last week in the first round 34-20 win over Greer, Jackson was instrumental in the win grabbing eight passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns on offense and picking off a pass on defense. Jackson has caught 31 passes this season for 454 yards and five touchdowns, but has also been instrumental on defense as well.
“I grew up playing offense,” he said. “But defense is fun. It’s a good experience.”
Copperheads’ head coach Zac Lendyak said Jackson is the type of player that comes to practice to work hard every day.
“Quinten comes to the field each day with a great attitude and effort,” Lendyak said. “Everyone who knows him talks about how great of a young man he is. He represents Catawba Ridge football in all he does.”
Being a senior, Jackson said he knows every game could be his last, so he is trying to soak it all in.
“I am hoping to play next year (in college),” he said. “I will miss football here.”
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep