Calhoun City center Jordan England will tell you life in the trenches isn’t easy.
“It’s tough and it all depends on who you’re playing,” England said. “They might have a fast guy, a strong guy or somebody really big. It can be hard to adjust from one week to the next.”
“Jordan is our leader on the offensive line,” Coach Liles said. “He’s a quiet leader sometimes, but he works hard. He’s more of a physical player than you might think a center would be.”
England is the obvious focal point of the offensive line as center, but will likely get some time on the defensive front as well as the season progresses.
“I just like to play, but I probably like offense better because it’s on us as linemen for our team to score,” England said. “If we don’t block, we won’t score.”
Aside from his duties on the line, England is also a vital member of special teams as the Wildcats’ place kicker. Not every team has a 240-pound kicker, but England said it comes natural to him.
“I always liked to see how far I could kick it when I was little.” England said. “I guess that just turned into me being a kicker in high school.”
Whether he’s on the line, lined up for an extra point, or even at home, England is always being coached. His father Travis England is the Wildcats’ top assistant and Jordan’s biggest motivator.
“I like having my dad out there, but sometimes it can be tough,” he said. “Some of the times it feels like he’s a little harder on me, because I’m his son, but I understand it.”
Travis didn’t dispute Jordan’s perception.
“It’s really hard (coaching your son) sometimes because I expect more out of him,” Travis said. “We talk about it at home. I expect him to be better than the other kids and know more and it’s sort of unfair to him. I catch myself sometimes having to hold back and treat him like another kid.”
Coach Perry Liles said Jordan is easy to coach because of his willingness to work hard both in the classroom and on the field.
“He’s a real good student. He’s really intelligent,” Liles said. “I think our whole offensive line are really good students and that’s a plus for our team and Jordan is the leader of that group.”
Asked about his favorite part of every Friday night, England pointed to the electricity from his teammates and the fans.
“The energy from us as a team and the fans when we score or make a big play,” England said. “That’s an incredible feeling.”
He should have many of those moments this year as the Wildcats are currently ranked second in the state in Class 2A and are picked by most in the media as the favorite to win the North and advance to Jackson in December.
“I think we’ll be pretty good,” Jordan said. “There’s always room for improvement and we have a lot of games to play. I think we have a good shot. We just have to play well each week and continue to improve every game.”