BOLIVAR – When the 2013 football regular season ended, Bolivar High running back Keyon Crisp was the top rusher in The Jackson Sun’s coverage area.
His 1,816 yards and 25 touchdowns were the best rushing stats in the area after 10 games, but they weren’t good enough.
“We didn’t win enough, so if I needed to rush for more yards or touchdowns to win games, I didn’t do that,” Crisp said. “Also I had a goal before the season of rushing for 2,000 yards and scoring 32 touchdowns, and I fell short of both of those, too.”
While Crisp said he’s not necessarily worried about how many carries, yards or touchdowns he gets for his own sake, he said he does feel like he has a certain number he should attain for to help his team win.
“And that’s what we want to do, right? Win?” Crisp said. “I want to get to the playoffs and play for state championships, but we’ve got to win more games to be in that position.”
Things in 2013 didn’t go well at all for Bolivar, and Crisp said it started before the season began.
“We had a lot of injuries before the season started,” Crisp said. “When we first started playing in that first game [against Crockett County] I think we were missing four starters.”
And conditioning was a factor as well.
“We thought we worked hard last year, but we didn’t work hard enough,” Crisp said. “That showed when we were cramping up early in the year.”
That has changed this year. As first-year head coach Woodrow Lowe has emphasized conditioning during the offseason, Crisp said it’s created a new attitude among Bolivar’s football players leading into the season.
“The first thing is we’re running all practice long,” Crisp said. “We’re up tempo all practice and fast paced, and that keeps us going until coach tells us we’re done.
“But when we’re done working on plays, there’s been a lot more running … a lot more conditioning. I feel like it’s already paying off for me, and I think it will for everybody on the team.”
There are a few colleges who have shown interest in Crisp. He’s got offers from Austin Peay and Tennessee State. He’s talked with bigger schools like Memphis and Tennessee. He said he’d love an opportunity to play down Hwy. 64 in Memphis.
“I’ll play anywhere, but I like what’s going on at Memphis,” Crisp said. “Coach [Justin] Fuente is building that team up and making them better, and from talking with him and other coaches and watching them, that’s something I could be a part of.”
There’s another Crisp on Bolivar’s roster that could have collegiate opportunities as well, according to Keyon.
“My cousin Javonte is a great athlete, a great receiver,” Keyon Crisp said. “And I don’t know how much he’s talked with Memphis or any college, but if we were to end up on the same college team and play together there, that would be great. But he’s family, so we’ll be there for each other no matter where we are next year.”
As far as this year goes, Keyon Crisp said the focus is simply on playing better and competing in District 14-AA.
“I feel like we are good enough to play with anybody on our schedule,” Crisp said. “We’ve had our chances in the past, but we were young. I think we can do something now that we’re older.”
Bolivar will start the season on Aug. 22 when the Tigers travel to Crockett County.
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40 time: 4.5
Power clean: 280