• John Macon Gillespie

Gholar Says Falcons Growing Closer

Kylin Hill is one of the most electrifying players in all of Mississippi with the ball in his hands. He shares the backfield with fellow rising senior Kendre Conner, who is also a talented playmaker.

Along with junior quarterback CJ Gholar, the three make up perhaps the most exciting backfield in 6A. There is no questioning that Gholar is the guy that ties it all together. He distributes the ball, as the system dictates and ensures that the playmakers have the ball to make plays.

However, Gholar can keep it and make plays, himself. This season he could be the driving force behind the Falcons taking another step and competing for a championship after a 8-4 finish in 2015.

“Being in the backfield with the two best running backs in the state is quite an experience,” Gholar told SES Mississippi. “The key to a dynamic backfield is that you have to know when and how to use your weapons.”

“I am a player that understands what needs to be done in various situations. I make plays when they are needed. Also, I think my coach does a very good job in putting us in positions to make plays.”

Columbus finished second behind South Panola in their division last season. They lost a closely contested first round matchup against Cam Akers and Clinton. But wins against Tupelo and Desoto Central are building blocks for this coming fall.

Gholar threw for 160 yards or more in three games last season, including 244 against Hernando in the final game of the regular season. Twice, against Tupelo and Horn Lake, he went for 110 yards or more on the ground. He was responsible for 12 touchdowns on the ground and threw the air. He is also looking to take a step this season.

“All it takes is practice and more practice. I have to stay in the weight room and watch film. I have to become a student of the game,” He explained.

“We plan to accomplish more team goals and less individual goals this season. It starts in the weight room, film room and on the practice field. We have to be disciplined and remained locked in on the task at hand. People never believed Columbus football and we are here to turn it around.”

It was obvious why Gholar is so in-sync with his teammates in the backfield, once I asked him what he loved most about football.

“That’s easy, just playing with my brothers, the competition, release of stress and having fun,” Gholar said.

He is driven by a few things, including wanting to be the best. However, he feels he is overlooked. That, too, is something that urges him on.

“I know I can be the best football player to ever come from Columbus high,” He said. “People doubt me because of my size. I think I’m overlooked because I didn’t get as much exposure as I should have at the beginning of my high school career.”

“My goal is to prove the doubters wrong. I have heart and I can play with the best. My love for the game is indescribable. I want to retire my family and make them proud.”

Running the ball and, “making plays,” is what Gholar feels is his strenght. Though he’s working hard to become a better pocket passer. That is his, “main goal,” this offseason because he was not pleased with his his completion percentage last season.

If he does make those improvements, the Falcons are going to be tough to beat this fall. Especially after the strong spring that Gholar feels they had. He also noted that his teammates and he are coming with all their best for morning workouts this summer.

“We know what our team is capable of. We have a lot of work to do up front, and we saw that in the spring game, but as long as everyone keeps grinding we will be unstoppable,” Gholar stated. “This offseason we have bonded more than anything. We are building friendships. Knowing you have your brothers behind you when you go to war is a great feeling.”

**Photo by Kentral Evans Jr.

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