Ferriday running back provides leadership on and off field

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ferriday High School is not at a lack for star power.

The Trojans rosters is filled with players who more than pass the eye test — tall, strong, athletic athletes that are more than capable of making the spectacular play on any given Friday night.

But Ferriday coach Dwight Woods said what makes the engine run may not immediately jump out when gazing down the Trojans sideline.

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Woods and Ferriday lean on 5-foot-5 senior running back Milak Hampton to serve as not only a catalyst on the field, but one of the team leaders off it.

“He’s always at practice, and he’s one of those guys that you never have to worry about,” Woods said.

Last November, Hampton received the Sidney A. Murray Hydroelectric Citizenship Award, which is given to one student at every grade level in each school through the Concordia Parish School District.

“(The award) is given to kids from around the area that are responsible, caring and show a lot of effort in what they’re doing,” Hampton said. “It was an honor for me, and I wasn’t expecting that award. It just kind of happened. My parents always taught me to show respect and help out.”

As accomplished as Hampton is away from the gridiron, he’s equally accomplished on the field. The Ferriday runner tallied over 1,000 yards rushing last year and will again be counted on this year to lead the Trojans’ ground attack.

“He’s not blazing fast, but he’s shifty and hard to hit,” Woods said. “He makes people miss, and he runs the ball hard and breaks tackles.”

Hampton said his personal goal on the football field is to improve in every facet and show college coaches he can handle the workload that’s expected at the next level.

But Hampton ultimately puts the team goals ahead of his own.

“I really believe we can go to state,” Hampton said. “Everybody is intimidated by us because of our size and skill players that we have, but we have to give 100 percent at all times. We have to continue to work, depend on each other and play for all four quarters.”

After an opening-season 18-16 loss to Carroll High School last Friday, Hampton and Ferriday will next be in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they host Block High School.

Hampton is the son of Mary and John Hampton.