Fleming likes to hit

Published 12:10 am Friday, September 30, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Trinity Episcopal’s Demarcus Fleming gets around Riverfield defenders during the Saints’ game at Trinity Thursday afternoon. Trinity won the game 14-6.

NATCHEZ — Demarcus Fleming just likes to hit, so he chose two positions that enable him to play a physical brand of football.

Fleming, an eighth grader, splits time between running back and linebacker for the Trinity Episcopal junior varsity football team. He said he started playing football at a young age.

“I played in the Miss-Lou Youth Football League in fifth grade, and I’ve been playing those two positions ever since,” Fleming said.

Football is a good sport to play, Fleming said, because of how it forces players to mature.

“It shows a lot of responsibility and hard work,” Fleming said. “It makes you fight for what you want to achieve.”

Fleming started attending Trinity two years ago because he wanted a better opportunity and challenges in academics and sports, he said. Playing for the junior varsity team under coach Richy Spears has certainly provided that challenge, Fleming said. Fleming described Spears as a tough coach, but someone who helps his players be the best they can be.

“You get used to it,” Fleming said. “He doesn’t say anything to put you down, he just makes you a stronger person. He’s a very good coach. He isn’t going to tell you anything wrong, he’s just going to be real with you.”

Since he hasn’t moved up to the varsity squad yet, Fleming said he hasn’t interacted as much with varsity head coach David King. But King still oversees some of his workouts, Fleming said.

“He doesn’t really coach JV, but he’s still there helping us out a lot, both individually and as a team,” King said. “He’s always making sure we stay on task.”

As a running back, Fleming said he enjoys being put in an opportunity to make big plays for his team.

“I like the feeling of the ball in your hands when you’re running for yards,” Fleming said. “It allows you to show how tough you are to keep fighting for yards.”

At linebacker, Fleming said he has a great chance to do what he loves most: hit.

“I’m the type of guy who’s a physical player,” Fleming said. “I like the environment around (the position) — I like to hit.”

And that also comes into play when he’s at running back, since you get to run into people, Fleming said.

“I just like to hit, period,” Fleming said. “There’s the enthusiasm of contact, and I enjoy it.”

Fleming also plays basketball and runs track, but if he had to choose between the three, the choice is easy, he said.

“Football is my first love,” Fleming said.

Even if it is his first love, Fleming said he realizes it’s not the most important reason he’s at Trinity.

“Studying is very important,” Fleming said. “My mother and father always tell me that school is first before sports, because knowledge can take you further than sports can. No one can take away knowledge. The teachers stress that also.”

Thanks to the teachers’ help, Fleming said he’s doing well in his studies since arriving at Trinity.

“They’re great,” he said. “They’re very helpful. If you need help, all you have to do is ask them, and they’ll be there for anything.

“To be honest, they’re a lot like mothers and fathers to me, because they treat us all like their children.”

Fleming isn’t the only up-and-coming star for the Saints. Fellow running back Trey Fleming, a freshman, also spent some time on the junior varsity squad this season before moving up to varsity.

“There’s definitely some competition between me and Trey,” Fleming said, “but we’re still family and a team. If he needs help, I’ll help him, and if I need help, he’d help me.

“We just want to make each other better, and we both want to be successful in life.”

Demarcus Fleming is the son of Tracy and Tyrone Fleming.