Players of the Pine Belt: Perry Central's Tijuana Bolton

Players of the Pine Belt: Perry Central's Tijuana Bolton

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Perry Central head football coach Chip Bilderback knows how special a talent he has in Tijuane Bolton.

"Tijuane's been a three-year starter at quarterback and you can't place a value on that," Bilderback said. "That's just experience. (It) is such a great thing to have at that position. But also, on the flip side, there's not many quarterbacks that turn around and start at defensive end. And he has a presence on defense and so he's able to bring that mindset as a defensive end to quarterback and be a physical player as well at the quarterback position."

When a quarterback gets sacked, there's no doubt a part of him probably wants to get up and hit that defensive end back. Well as a two-way player,  Bolton gets that very chance.

"I'm a quarterback so I know they like to run around just like I like to run around," Bolton said. "And I've played defense before, I've played outside linebacker so I just like to hit people.

Added Bilderback, "It just says he's a tough player. And really that's one of our core values is toughness and he's one of them. All our seniors, the guys that have made it through, they're tough guys. So we just try to pride ourselves on being a tough, physical team."

Last season, the Perry Central theme was being relentless. In Chip Bilderback's second year at the helm, the Bulldogs are focused on being above line. Bilderback believes this Perry Central team will only go as far as the senior class leads them, starting with Tijuane Bolton.

"Yeah it changed my attitude, it makes me want to go harder since it's my last year," Bolton said. "My last ride. I just want people to remember me, remember my team."

Leadership and legacy are at the forefront of the team's focus. 

"This is their team," Bolton said. "We're only going to go as far as their leadership. And we've talked a lot about leaving a legacy and how they want to be remembered. It wasn't too long ago that Perry Central won ten football games. And that's where we want to be able to get to but it starts now. It can't start in the fall. And it actually really started back in January, we started on this journey. And we've built the team and we trying to still maintain just getting one percent better every day."