Big Day Pays Off For Ballard At Fortius Project
The four hour trip up to Booneville was all worth it for 2019 Central Hinds Academy OL Stevie Ballard.
The 6’5, 290 pound specimen had a productive day at the Fortius Project held at Northeast Mississippi Community College this past weekend. He watched, learned, and had a good showing among solid competition.
“I set my goals high going into the Fortius Project. I wanted to have a great performance in the timed drills,” Ballard told SES Mississippi. “I also wanted to learn new drills, work with the coaches, and be able to bring the drills home and practice them here in Raymond. My last goal was to perform good against new competition in the one-on-one drills.”
Ballard finished the day with a new personal best in the 5-10-5 shuttle with a 4.7, the fastest time recorded among offensive lineman. He also had a 40 yard dash time of 5.47 and a broad jump of 7’7.
He, along with other competitors, were accompanied by some members of the NEMCC coaching staff to help them perfect their crafts and get a taste of coaching at the JUCO level.
“All the coaches at northeast are very thorough with their teachings. I like this a lot because not one guy out of our group left without learning something new to improve their game,” Ballard said.
Fortius Project director Webb Lewis gave a message to the competitors after the camp talking about all that ties with the word “Fortius” on and off the playing field. Ballard will be reminded of that everyday with the camp’s wristband on.
“That final speech was very impactful because it was right after a hard day of work. It was on the word “Fortius” and that means stronger. This means we need to get stronger in every thing we do from our skills, to our school work, and even apply to our walk with Christ.,” Ballard said.
At the end of the day, he was among 15 competitors to be named to the All-Combine team.
“All-Combine is a very special award to me,” Ballard said. “It shows every body around me that hard work pays off. With this award, I have to stay humble and remember that the name of Jesus is to be glorified.”
**Photo Courtesy of John Macon Gillespie