Player to Watch: Keith Jackson

Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — We are less than two months away from the first Friday night of the 2020 high school football season. As we get ready for another outstanding year of football in WNY, we’re going to spotlight some of the players that stood out on the field in 2019 and are looking to shine in 2020.

South Park’s Keith Jackson had a breakout year in his junior season as the running back for the Sparks.

“I hurt myself sophomore year, so I didn’t really have much time to play so I came back harder,” South Park running back Keith Jackson said. “I had high expectations for myself, so I filled them in and did what I was supposed to do.”

“He is a physical player. We like to say he plays downhill all the time, offensively and defensively,” South Park head coach Tim Delaney said. “He’s always going to bring that physicality, at all times, on both sides of the football. That’s just a mindset for our team. Having a kid that carries the ball a lot have that mindset really helps the rest of the guys on the team play physical.”

Keith was a monster on both sides of the ball in his junior campaign. He led the Sparks offense in rushing with 116 carries for 873 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, and also played a key role in the passing game with 14 catches for 245 yards and five touchdowns. As a member of the defense, Keith made 61 solo tackles, 50 assisted tackles, and caught three interceptions for a total of 100 defensive yards and three defensive touchdowns.

“To win every game and go as far as we could,” Jackson said. “I’m not really into stats, I just like to play. I just want to be a great player, make sure everyone under me is a hard player too.”

“We’re looking forward to him really having another great year. The reason he’s a leader along with one of our other captains is because they lead by example,” Coach Delaney said. “They do a lot of work on their own, and the kids see that, and they bring a lot of kids along with them.”

A true “team over me” player, Keith isn’t setting specific goals for himself as he heads into his senior season. Rather, he’s more interested in helping the Sparks repeat as Section VI champions, and advance further in the playoffs.

“Play as a team, to work hard and remember what happened last year. Try to go from that and have a chip on your shoulder for every play,” Jackson said.

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