HEIDELBERG, Miss. (WDAM) _ For the past three seasons, Justin Wilson has taken a blue-collar approach to duties on Heidelberg High School’s offensive line.
“I just look at it, like, “Hey, somebody’s gotta do it’” Wilson said. “(A ballcarrier’s) not gonna (gain yardage) on his own.”
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Wilson will return to the front rank for his senior season, sliding from center to right tackle.
“We feel pretty good about this year,” Heidelberg coach Marchello Evans said. “We have eight starters returning on offense and four on defense. We were a young team last year, real young, and we’re a young team this year. I only have six seniors.”
One of them is Wilson, who Evans said will be key cog in any success the Oilers have in 2019.
“He’s a gentle giant,” Evans said. “First one in the weight room, last one out. He’s the last one at practice. He’s gone beyond so much of the time and taken on that leadership role.
“He’s real athletic. I can open up a hurdle, and he can jump over it. He can dunk a basketball. He’s just athletic, real, real athletic. He can play any position on the offensive line. He’s good, strong kid. Four years in the trenches. He’s tough, man. He’s tough.”
Wilson said it took a while to get his bearings as a young player.
“Freshman year, it was rough,” said Wilson, who was named Heidelberg’s “Player of the Pine Belt.” “Lotta big people out here and I was little nervous to be out there.
“But now, I’m very excited. It’s my fourth year playing and I’m a senior, so I’m going try to enjoy these last games with my friends, my teammates.”
Both Wilson and Evans said they were optimistic standing on the cusp of the 2019 season.
“We’ve got a new motto around here: ‘Everything’s hard in the oilfield,’” Evans said. “We only have 40 kids, but we mold these guys. Oilfield football is tough, and this year we’ve taken on that attitude to get bigger, stronger, faster.
“We had a successful offseason and I’m just really excited about Heidelberg football this season.”
Wilson said he’s ready to button up the blue collar and get to work.
“(Evans is) honest with us, and it’s for the best,” Wilson said. “He’s a good person and I like him. He brings the best out of us.
“The world, the world is rough, so bring it on.”
The Oilers will open the season at 7 p.m. Friday, traveling to Meridian to take on Southeast Lauderdale High School.