• John Macon Gillespie

State or Bust for Beau Johnson

Last season did not go the way that Beau Johnson nor his Tri-County Academy teammates expected it to.

“We had state won until the last 18 seconds of the state championship,” Johnson told SES Mississippi.

Prior to the season getting that far was certainly the goal, but that train left the tracks when senior quarterback Jake Jones went down early in the season with a broken leg. Johnson, who was playing linebacker, would then shift to quarterback.

After taking over the signal calling duties Johnson would lead his team to a 7-2 record in his nine starts. He finished the season having thrown for 1,063 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added another 275 yards on the ground, while running for five scores.

Johnson is penciled in to be the starting quarterback for the Rebels again next season. This time he will have an offseason to prepare for his upcoming challenge. He’s planning to take advantage of knowing what he has to do this time around. So he’s planning to attend the Fortius Project to better his skills and prepare for next season.

“Just trying to see where I am in relation to a lot of other high school quarterbacks,” Johnson said when asked what excited him most about attending.

Two areas that he knows for sure he will stack up well against other quarterbacks with, though, are his arm strength and his attitude. Two things that no doubt made him successful on the field last season. A quarterback must be physically gifted as well as being mentally gifted. He plans to show that he is well adept at both.

With that being said, he intends to learn more than he impresses. Two areas he would like to improve are with his footwork and his speed. Those two skills sort of go hand-in-hand, but can serve two different purposes. Improved footwork should improve his accuracy, while improved speed could help add another element to the Tr-County offense next season.

One element that his team did not lack last season was punting. Johnson, a uniquely talented athlete, also served as the team’s punter. In fact, he excelled, averaging 42 yards per punt and four seconds of hang time on each kick.

So with quarterbacking and punting duties solidified in his future and linebacker in the rearview, Johnson looks forward to next season with great optimism for his team.

“I feel like we will have a more experienced team with us only losing four seniors. I feel like we will come together also this year and play as a team and be a team to look out for,” Johnson said. “I don’t expect anything less than to win state this year.”

**Photo by Millissa Presley.

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