Seymour sophomore gives Eagles leg up
By Will Estep | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SEYMOUR — Needing to nail down the win in a back-and-forth affair in the opener, Seymour didn’t hesitate on fourth down at the Campbell County 30. Sophomore J.J. Jerman trotted on the hostile field, lined up and booted a career-long 47-yarder over the crossbar to give Seymour a 10-point cushion and take the last hope from Campbell County in the 30-20 victory.
“I was thinking, ‘we got the lead, but this will seal the deal,’” Jerman told The Daily Times after Wednesday’s practice. “I got a good snap, good hold, and it went up through the uprights. It helped our team out, and we got a good win for the team.”
Jerman finished the first game of his sophomore season connecting on three of four field goals and was perfect on all three extra point attempts. His one miss was much shorter than 47 yards, but he didn’t let that affect him going into the final kick.
“I didn’t feel like I had a great day of kicking, because that one I missed was just a little bit over,” Jerman said. “You just got to push it aside and go to the next one, so I didn’t really think about it.”
Seymour (1-0) hosts White County (0-1) for their home opener at 7:30 Friday (96.3 FM). The team from Sparta lost to Smith County, 34-0, in their opener. Last year the Warriors bounced back from a similar loss by downing SHS 48-38. Playing in just his second game, Jerman career picked up valuable experience connecting on five PATs and one field goal.
This year he has added punting to his kicking repertoire. Last week against Campbell County, he averaged 39 yards on four punts. The sophomore also kicks off for the Eagles, and his coach feels that Jerman’s leg is an integral part of the program.
“He is huge. He is a weapon,” said Seymour coach Jim Moore. “His leg just keeps getting stronger as long as he is in the weight room. He doesn’t miss workouts, and he loves kicking. He gets out there and kicks by himself all of the time.”
Jerman gets plenty of help from his Seymour coaches in practice, but in the offseason he has two coaches who kicked plenty of field goals in college. Jerman goes to Nashville to work with former University of Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit and then he makes the trek over to North Carolina to get lessons from former University of North Carolina kicker Dan Orner.
He also attended kicking camps in the offseason.
“I went to the UT camp and that was fun and productive,” Jerman said. “Then, I also went to the Clemson camp, which is my dream school.”
Each day during practice he works on kicking, but no more than one hour and 45 minutes. He also works on form drills each day as well as long field goals to help make kicks like he did against Campbell County.
The Eagles hope they won’t have to call on Jerman for more than extra points Friday, but White County team returns seven starters on each side of the ball.
“They are a big, physical group of kids. We have got to be ready for just some smash mouth football,” Moore said. “You have got to be prepared for everything, but their forte is the power run.”