Player of the Week: Jefferson Davis RB/DB Malcolm Hartzog

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:46 PM CST
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BASSFIELD, Miss. (WDAM) - There is a culture in Bassfield unlike any other town around the state of Mississippi.

“The guys that came before us, they set the stone,” said Southern Miss sophomore defensive back Malik Shorts, who won the 2017 state championship with Jefferson Davis. “They played so hard to earn the Bassfield name. They played so hard to where we had to step up to their level.”

The talent has always been there in Jefferson Davis County. But the work ethic and the expectation to win breeds football players that find themselves playing on Saturday and Sunday’s.

Malcolm Hartzog is next in line.

“When I was in 8th grade seeing how they played when the Jaguars first became a team, how they worked hard and stuff,” said Hartzog, a senior running back and defensive back for Jefferson Davis. “It motivated me to work hard how they did and get a ring.”

“Expectations or the standards were set a long time ago,” said Jefferson Davis head coach Lance Mancuso. “A lot of times you get a lot of those talented kids coming in pretty young and it all goes to their head. Malcolm has really set the example if you want to bring your game to the next level, you have to continue to prepare.”

Hartzog took it to another level in Friday’s 54-19 playoff win over Clarkdale – scoring five times in the first half from every corner of the field.

Most teams have wised up, not daring to throw or kick in his direction.

“When they don’t kick it to me, I know they’re not going to kick it to me,” Hartzog said. “But when they do, I gotta make the best of whenever I get it because I don’t get too many chances. I just have fun, go score a touchdown.”

He’s done plenty of that this season, reaching the end zone over 30 times.

And once again the Jaguars are meeting expectations, looking to make another deep playoff run.

“Each week the guys have been answering the call,” Mancuso said. “We’ve talked about things we need to improve on each week and each week they’ve been doing that. If we can continue to do that, these guys are going to give themselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.”

Jefferson Davis County visits Hazlehurst on Friday at 7 p.m.

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