Jimmies players run twice-weekly practices at Hansen Stadium
The Jimmies organized themselves and the veterans ran practice.
JAMESTOWN — While the University of Jamestown coaches can’t be at practice, between 50 and 60 football players have taken it upon themselves to put in the work to get better this summer at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
The Jimmies finished the 2021-22 season 2-9 and on an eight-game losing streak. Junior wide receiver Steve Justice said he and his teammates have spent time since late May working to change their losing ways with a visible culture shift within the roster. Justice said the culture shift has come with the players putting in the work when nobody is watching to get better both on and off the field.
“That comes with a collective buy-in from the whole entire group,” Justice said. “Once we can all accept that fact, that’s when we’re going to prove all our work on that field on Thursday (Aug. 25).”
The Jimmies are returning their starting quarterback, top three rushers, top five pass catchers and most of their leading tacklers. Most of those players are working out with the team to get better, which Justice said further highlights the motivation that the team feels.
“So, when the fall comes we’re going to be ready to be able to work and we’re going to be the best unit we can on the field across every position group, not just one side of the ball and that’s what I’m excited to see this season,” Justice said.
During the practices, the team runs different drills before doing seven-on-seven scrimmages while going through the playbook. The team has had most of their first- and second-team offense and defensive units at practice.
“It helps us build chemistry,” sophomore running back Carlos Julian said. “We’re also getting better, learning our playbook and it’s also a good way to stay moving.”
While the seven-on-seven scrimmages are going on, the offensive lineman are working on their own drills at the far end of the field.
Sophomore wide receiver Micah Madyun said more people working in practices than in past years is leading to higher quality practices.
“Last year, we didn’t have as many people so reps weren’t as fast, reps weren’t as strong, not as many subs,” Madyun said. “So people were getting more tired, we couldn’t go as long as we wanted to. This summer, we got a lot of people who want to get better, so we’re able to compete more, do more. We’re a little more comfortable with each other so we’re able to talk back and forth.”
One of the players who is making a big impact in practices is sophomore Hershell Jefferson who played in 10 games in his true freshman season, recording 21 tackles and three interceptions. During practice on Wednesday, Jefferson almost had an interception but it was broken up by a teammate on the sideline. Despite that, Jefferson said his confidence remains the same.
“I’m from Florida so my confidence will always be on 10, always gonna be up in the sky,” Jefferson said. “Them type of the plays I never get too high off of, I know I can make them. I just need to make them.”
Jefferson also noted how much the depth the Jimmies possess and the practices will help them in the upcoming season.