Archived Story

Blue-collar Bruiser

Published 9:28am Friday, August 16, 2013

Of all the players in the area, Jackson Sexton is probably most valuable to his team’s success.
As Sexton enters the 2013 season with the Horseshoe Bend Generals, he is set to be the lead dog at runningback and is the team’s top returning linebacker.
With the departure of Class 2A All-State selections Luke Holt and Cory Battle, Sexton knows that there’s added pressure on him to perform. And he’s motivated to do just that.
“Luke had more than 150 tackles, which to me is unheard of,” Sexton said. “Cory had more than 2,000 total yards last season. Those are pretty big shoes to fill. I plan on working hard and making sure I can fill those shoes and do my best. Hopefully, with that will come some wins.”
Sexton already has a head start in filling Holt’s shoes. As a sophomore, he racked up 98 stops.
Runningback is where Sexton is in uncharted waters.
However, he brings a smashmouth element to the Generals’ typically fast-paced offense. So far, he has proven effective.
Sexton wants to be more than just effective, though. As one of the team leaders, he is using his work ethic to help motivate and encourage his teammates.
“Now that I’m a junior, some of my teammates are starting to look up to me and use me as an example, and that motivates me to push myself even harder,” he said.
In addition to increasing his drive, Sexton has shaken off the jitters of sophomore season and has fully embraced the chance to set the tone for Horseshoe Bend.
“I’ve pushed myself harder than I did last season,” he said. “Last year, I was nervous and scared to do certain things. Now, I’m pushing myself to do things that I’m not used to, and I’m ready to step into the shoes of last year’s leaders and do a good job.”
Sexton said he is ready for the challenge now that he is more comfortable and confident.
What also helps is the arrival of freshman runner Drew Hill. Sexton said Hill’s speed and agility would help to make him a better runner.
“The biggest difference for me from last year is that I’ve kind of matured,” Sexton said. “The game’s slowed down for me. I’m still learning, but I’m seeing things differently. It has come a little bit easier to me, and with Drew’s abilities, we’re going to be able to mix it up. We’ll be able to keep fresh legs under us.”
While things are looking more than manageable for Sexton, the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder has no intentions on making it easy for opponents.
Sexton, who boasts a max bench press of 270 and a max squat of more than 300 pounds, said he would be the proverbial hammer to the opponent’s nail, as he plans to pound the Generals’ adversaries into submission.
“I was always taught that if you constantly work hard and go at somebody, eventually they’ll give in,” Sexton said. “If you don’t quit, you can break their will. That’s what I’ve been taught, and that’s my mindset. They may knock me down, but I’ll get right back up and keep coming.”
Sexton said he feels that resiliency would be key for himself and the team, and while he has no individual aspirations this season, his overall goal remains unchanged.
“My goal every year is to get to State and win it,” Sexton said. “I’ve got to work hard and help us push each other to win. That’s all I can do.”
For Sexton, giving all he has in the name of victory is more than enough. It is what has motivated him for years, and it continues to motivate him now.
“I just want to win,” Sexton said. “Ever since I was little, no matter what sport, I just want to win. I know you want to have a good time, too, but in all seriousness, everything boils down to winning for me.”
Yes, Sexton wants to win.
Yes, he does have a lot on his plate this season.
But as far as Sexton is concerned, there’s only one thing left to do, and that’s go to work.
And Horseshoe Bend’s opponents can be assured that Sexton will not rest until the job is done.
See The Outlook throughout the month of August for player profiles of The Outlook’s Super 12 team leading to the kickoff of the 2013 season.