• John Macon Gillespie

Young Ready To Step Into Leadership Role For Senatobia

Interestingly enough Niageria Young found himself with two very different roles for Senatobia down the stretch last season. At defensive back his job was to fool the quarterback.

However, during the season he was handed the keys to the offense as head coach Brooks Oakley asked him to step in and replace the injured Cooper Stevens. That was a tall ask of Young, who started the season as the third string quarterback.

“I try to be physical every snap on defense. I like to mess with the opposing quarterback’s mind. I make him think his receiver is open, but then I make a play on the ball,” Young told SES Mississippi. “I think I prefer quarterback, though. I like to mimic Lamar Jackson.”

All in all, Young had recorded six touchdown passes, two rushing scores and intercepted five passes by season’s end in 2016. As the offseason turns into next season, though, he knows his role will increase.

The team also has their sights set on bigger and better than their 8-4 finish from a season ago.

“We really are making a brotherhood at Senatobia,” He explained. “Next season we are looking to be undefeated. We have a lot of potential. We just have to put in the work because coach is always talking about competing and finishing.”

“My plan this offseason is to maintain my grades and push my teammates harder than last season. This is going to be my time to step up and be the starting quarterback. I like being a leader, and I just have to put the work in this summer.”

Seeing the 2017 seniors go down in a second round loss to Noxubee County in the playoffs is what spurned the team coming together, according to Young.

“Seeing the senior class go down the way we did put a chip on not only mine, but the whole team’s shoulders,” He stated. “The Monday morning following our season ending coach Oakley had a long talk with us telling us that we need to finish what they did for us and keep it going. That’s where the brotherhood comes from.”

This fall will be Oakley’s second season at the helm. Young says that he has been a natural fit for the Warrior program.

“He loves coaching us and wouldn’t trade us for anything,” Young said. “I just really value him as my head coach. Coaches like him make you want to put it all out there on the line.”

Young, who says his best football memory is a 72-yard scoring run against rival Independence last season, is set to compete in the Fortius Project this spring.

He is sure to be a standout at the camp, due to his quickness, versatility and athleticism.

**Photo courtesy of Brian Lentz, Tate County Preps

#Senatobia #JohnLukeMcCord

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