After memorable 2013 season, Jackson ready to lead Mona Shores to new heights again in 2014Football  |
MUSKEGON – Entering his senior season as the Muskegon Mona Shores starting quarterback, Tyree Jackson has only one thing on his mind for the 2014 season.
“There’s one goal that we all have this year and that’s a state championship and nothing less,” he said. “That’s really the one goal that we’re all aiming for when we come out for practice.”
The Sailor’s senior signal caller and Buffalo commit is entering his fourth year as a starter at the quarterback position and helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in the school’s 50 year history.
When Jackson first started as an undersized freshman quarterback, Mona Shores finished with a 1-8 record, but the Sailors have improved in the past two years, finishing 4-5 in 2012 before compiling a 7-3 record and a playoff berth last fall.
Mona Shores head coach Matt Koziak said that over the past few years, he’s seen his senior quarterback grow and become more poised as he’s grown into the position.
“When we first started him, he was a 13-year old quarterback, he was 5-foot-9, 138 pounds,” he said. “So now he’s 6-5, 205, so one thing he’s improved on is his physicality, he’s gotten so much stronger. He’s always been a hard worker in the weight room, but his body wasn’t ready to make huge gains back then. This year, he’s grown confident, especially in his physical ability, and we’re a triple option team and we need our quarterback to run, so that’s going to be a huge factor for us this year is his ability to run.”
Jackson will have plenty of weapons at his disposal this fall with the Sailors as they return running back Deontay Moffett and slot receiver Hunter Broesma, who will both play key roles in the offense this fall, while Dom Shermeta will look to anchor the Mona Shores defense.
Last season, Jackson threw for 31 touchdowns in 10 games, which led to several colleges showing interest in the quarterback before he decided on Buffalo, and will look to build upon those numbers this fall.
“I try to bring 100 percent at practice every day and just be a good leader,” Jackson said. “It’s easy to just be a quarterback on a team like this with great coaches and great linemen and great skill players and teams look at them too and that helps take some of the pressure off of me.”
When Mona Shores kicks off the season on the road at Saline on August 29th, it will mark the fourth year where Jackson will be starting under center for the Sailors, something that will undoubtedly give Jackson a leg up on the competition.
Koziak said that along with the experience Jackson has, what helps him become an even better quarterback is the amount of time he watches film as well as how well he understands the game and works with the coaching staff
“This is his fourth year as a varsity quarterback and game one against Saline will be his 29th varsity football game,” he said. “I think what a lot of people don’t see is that he watches a lot of film and how much time he puts in. He’s a football junkie. He’s very coachable, he does everything that we say, and when you have a quarterback like that, he becomes another coach on the field.”
Jackson added that in comparison to his freshman year, the game has obviously slowed down for him and he’s now at the stage where he’s been able to read defenses better and all of his focus is turned to trying to lead the Sailors to a big season before leaving to start his college career at Buffalo.
“The game has really slowed down for me,” he said. “My freshman year, it felt like everything was going at a million miles per hour and now everything’s slowed down and the reads have become easier and now it’s just about getting the job done and going 14-0.”