• John Macon Gillespie

Ragin Wants To Bring Aggression To The Trenches

Baldwyn was again a contender for the 2A crown in 2016. However, their run fell short at the hands of Calhoun City in North half. However, a statement was already made.

After a 1-4 start, the Bearcats would finish 9-1 down the stretch. Winning nine straight games, and cruising through division play at 5-0, is something fans of the program have come to expect.

The Baldwyn football program has established itself as one of the most dominant and most consistent in recent history. There are no shortage of athletic guys in the program, but the trenches are where the Bearcats separate themselves. Just take it from rising senior two-way lineman Wadlon Ragin.

“Losing Jimmy Tyes and Tice Bowdry is tough, because those two guys were some of the toughest linemen in 2A and in the state,” Ragin told SES Mississippi.

“I’ve learned a lot from them. They taught me about leadership and having faith in myself and my teammates. Most of all, I learned to be confident and never give up on the guys that play with me every Friday night.”

Tyes and Bowdry’s void will be felt both on both sides of the ball. Luckily for the Bearcats, Ragin, and talented teammate Zach Richardson, have flashed talent on the offensive and defensive line.

“We have a lot of work to do on the defensive line and offensive line,” Ragin said. “I feel like we can be as talented as last year. We just have to get stronger.”

“Zach is a beast. Playing with him next year is going to be exciting.”

While the defense has work to do, Ragin says the offense is shaping up to be a balanced unit. The line will be able to open up holes in the running game, while protecting John Swinney long enough for him to find open receivers.

On a personal note, Ragin is working hard to help his team replace lost production. That is the lifeblood of the Baldwyn program. Stepping in to replace star players as they graduate from the program.

“My mindset is to get better and get stronger,” He said. “And to form a better bond with my teammates.”

“It’s going to be hard losing some talented players, but I know I have to work harder and help my teammates.”

Ragin is hoping a trip to nearby Northeast Mississippi community college to compete in the Fortius Project will serve him well. It will be a chance to go up against some of the best linemen in the area.

“This opportunity means a lot,” Ragin explained. “The reason I want to come is to show off the talent I have. And to use what I’ve been learning during this offseason.”

“This opportunity means a lot to me because I want to continue playing at the next level. This event starts the road to my success.”

Quickness, speed coming off the ball and, of course, size are going to be the sticking points when he competes, Ragin says.

Meanwhile, this offseason Ragin is working to become a better pass blocker. On defense, he wants to have better footwork.

“But the most important thing I need to work on is my aggression,” He stated. “Playing on the line requires an aggressive attitude, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

#Baldwyn #JohnLukeMcCord

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