• John Macon Gillespie

Shegog Claims MVP of Fortius Project

South Panola's Patrick Shegog shined at the Fortius Project, but his focus is on improving his team.

Shegog attended the Fortius Project at Itawamba Community College and walked away with the Stronger Award, the camp's top honor.

“The thought of winning the Stronger Award didn't cross my mind at all the whole time I was there,” Shegog told SES Mississippi. “Overall, I'm proud of the way I performed though.”

Although Shegog's 4.71 40-yard dash and 4.16 shuttle time highlighted the camp, he notes that some of his favorite moments did not involve football exercises, but fellowship.

“I enjoyed [Fortius] a lot,” Shegog said. “My favorite part was talking and joking around with other players from the state, especially the Grenada boys.”

South Panola finished 7-6 in 2016 after a brief appearance in the postseason. For the school with 6 state championships and a claim to one national championship, that performance was subpar. Shegog, however, believes that he knows what it will take to get the Tigers back on track.

“We have to be on the same page as a team,” Shegog said. “Looking back on last year, I feel that we didn't work hard enough, and that's something that clearly showed.”

Shegog believes that the Fortius Project can help he and his teammates come together and improve as a team.

“Fortius can help in many ways, but the big difference comes from the work we put in amongst each other,” Shegog said.

Shegog will graduate in 2018, and his upcoming graduation date serves as another motivation to send his class out as champions.

“That's one of my top reasons for wanting to win the state championship,” Shegog said. “Winning championships is what we do, and it's what everyone expects from us. Anything less than that is not acceptable.”

Some of the biggest offseason news in Mississippi was that Ricky Woods will be leading the Tigers as head coach again in 2017. Woods went 74-1 in his tenure at South Panola, and won four 5A championships in a row. Shegog feels optimistic about the effect Woods' return will have on the Tiger football program.

“That's my man,” Shegog said. “Everybody loves him, and I feel like he'll be a huge part of our success.”

**Photo by Square Sports.

#JohnMaconGillespie #SouthPanola

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