December 22, 2009 2:52:00 PM
Jamerson Love''s ability to fight through adversity has paid dividends.
After getting off to a difficult start at Aberdeen High School three years ago, Love found the right way to go and went from occasional trouble-maker to a go-to player for coach Chris Duncan and the Bulldogs.
For his accomplishments this season, Love, who helped Aberdeen to the Class 3A North State championship, is The Commercial Dispatch Small Schools Offensive Player of the Year. He thanked God for the opportunity to be player of the year and said improving his leg strength enabled him to play offense and defense.
Before he could improve on the field, Love knew he had to make a mental transition.
"I just found a way to straighten out and look at me now," Love said. "I''m on the right track."
Duncan said he was fortunate to watch Love mature.
"Jamerson is one of those kids who grew over the three years and got better," Duncan said. "He was already good physically, but mentally and character-wise he grew and became, not just a good football player, but a good young man."
Duncan admitted there were some discipline problems when he arrived at Aberdeen and that Love had a hard time adjusting coming out of the ninth grade. He watched as Love overcame that adversity and grew into a team leader.
"He came out on the other side, took the high road, and now you see the results," Duncan said. "He''s going to Mississippi State."
Love committed to MSU as a defensive back, but proved he was just as valuable to Aberdeen High on offense. He had 208 carries for 1,923 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior running back.
Duncan said Love will be able to help MSU on either side of the football.
"When he touched the ball for us, we knew something good could happen anytime," Duncan said. "We liked to get the ball to him any way we could. He was fortunate to be on a team with a lot of good players so (opponents) couldn''t just key on him."
Love''s commitment to MSU is strong, and he said he has a good relationship with the coaches and visits with them at least twice a week.
Even though he''s looking forward to becoming a better defensive player, Love can''t help but think he''s a better player on offense.
"I can make a lot of things happen when I''ve got the ball in my hands," Love said. "It''s kind of hard for me on defense because I know I have to make a play. It''s hard for me and I''m getting used to it."
Another thing Love has had to get used to is a 34-20 loss to Tylertown in the Class 3A state championship to Tylertown earlier this month.
Love said the sting from that loss hurt for a while, but he''s stepped back and realized being in that position was an accomplishment.
"We have nothing to hang our heads about," Love said. "We were the first team to ever make it to Jackson, so we made history, and I''m proud of that, and I think everybody in our community is."
1. Williams emerges as force for Starkville High's defense HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Calvert fuels West Point's ground assault HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Couch wants to make most of his chances at WR COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Starkville Academy will try to clinch district title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Kentucky top pick in SEC again COLLEGE SPORTS