Trinity High School’s David Jackson attempts to catch the football during practice Wednesday. (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity High School’s David Jackson attempts to catch the football during practice Wednesday. (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)

Impact Player: Trinity player accepts coach’s challenge, changes attitude

Published 12:03am Thursday, August 21, 2014

NATCHEZ — A transformation in attitude has allowed David Jackson to be an impact player for the Trinity Saints in 2014.

A month ago, head coach Zach Rogel would argue Jackson was scratching the surface but hadn’t lived up to his potential. Everything changed in a 7-on-7 competition with the ACCS Rebels on July 17. During the 7-on-7 exhibition, Jackson, who was playing wide receiver, wasn’t running his routes at full speed, prompting Rogel to call timeout and pull Jackson to the side.

“I challenged him man-to-man, and I had a good idea that he would accept it,” Rogel said. “Ever since then, he’s been one of our top guys.”

When Jackson first transferred from Jefferson County to Trinity over the summer, he said he was going through the motions, acknowledging that he wasn’t working as hard as he should. Rogel took notice and was extra hard on Jackson. Following their conversation in the 7-on-7 event, Jackson has morphed into one of Rogel’s best players.

“It was rough at the start,” Jackson said. “Me and Coach Rogel started out a little rough, but I love him. He told me, ‘you can be one of the best athletes we have here,” and I just said, ‘yes sir.’ From that day on, I’ve been working hard.”

Rogel told Jackson he could either be the hammer or the nail, and Jackson said he chose to be the hammer. Jackson, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore that will play slot-back for the Saints, will be one of Rogel’s main options offensively and defensively. Rogel said Jackson and Cade Wells would touch the ball at least 40 percent of the time on offense, and Rogel hopes Jackson can transition from playing defensive back at Jefferson County to linebacker for the Saints.

Jackson, who said he loves competing and staying active, admitted he’s fallen in love with the position, and he actually likes playing defense more than offense.

“I’d rather be on defense doing the hitting than get hit,” Jackson said.

Whether it be Jackson’s athleticism on offense or his hard-nosed approach to defense, Rogel said Jackson’s presence will make Trinity a better football team in 2014.