• John Macon Gillespie

Football More Than A Game For Bonds

Considering what his father was able to do on the gridiron, it’s no surprise to see Corinth rising junior linebacker Carter Bonds turning heads.

In his playing days Chris Bonds played linebacker and defensive end at Corinth before heading off to play at nearby Northeast Mississippi Community College. Carter has carried the family name high the last two seasons by collecting 181 tackles as a freshman in 2016 and another 182 as a sophomore last fall.

“Personally, I expect to be the best on the field. It’s been the standard I’ve always held myself to through everything I do,” Bonds told SES Mississippi.

Knowing the lessons that sports could provide, his dad made sure he was involved in them from a young age. Football provided a unique bond between the father and son, but that ended when Carter was just 10 years old when his father was involved in a fatal car accident.

“Ever since then I’ve kind of played with a chip on my shoulder. Knowing he is with me every time I’m working pushes me,” Bonds noted.

“He taught me how to work hard and always pushed me. Even when I was seven years old he expected me to always earn what I wanted. He wanted me to be better than him and build on what he had accomplished.”

The bond build, between father and son, over football is meaningful still to Bonds. Not only because it is a way for his father’s legacy to continue, but it’s also given him something to look forward to. As Bonds looks ahead to his junior season in just a few months, he’s already shown that he’s a star under the Friday night lights.

“It’s kind of opened my eyes,” Bonds said of his first two seasons of varsity football for the Warriors. “To how football could potentially impact my life.

“Educational, at the least. Hopefully it could pay for my college or help me find a job eventually. It’s already impacted me socially and physically.”

Though Bonds has displayed a unique talent for getting to the ball carrier, perhaps his most impressive quality is his leadership. His production is more than just numbers, as he helped will Corinth to the playoffs last season.

And unlike in the near two previous decades of first round playoff exits, the Warriors made a run to the third round. That run included a win over Clarksdale as well as a huge upset victory over Pontotoc.

“Probably a 12,” Bonds responded when asked from 1-10 how ready he was for football season to return. “I expect to make back to the third round at least. Last season showed us our potential.”

The key to making another run, and subsequently reaching the 4A North title game, at least according to Bonds, will be capitalizing on the remaining time in the offseason.

“A few of my teammates and I have been getting up at five every morning to run, along with our football workouts,” He explained. “We could improve on communication and, for most guys, getting back in shape.”

“I’ve been working on my footwork and being a more complete athlete overall.”

Bonds has proven to be quite the athlete in the middle of the Corinth defense. He just has a knack for making plays on the ball. If he does indeed improve his overall athleticism, it could make him even more of a threat to opposing offenses.

But it’s the mental aspects of his game that Bonds says his father would be most proud of.

“My resilience and my attitude, but mostly my leadership. I’ve had to step up ever since I was a freshman,” He said.

**Photo courtesy of Tee Rage Portraits of Corinth, Miss.

#Corinth #JohnLukeMcCord

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