ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Early on in the season, UPrep lost their star wide receiver, Jordan Jackson to a leg injury. Despite that big loss, the Griffins found a way to win their first sectional title in program history.
“Once he went down, yes there were some emotions there,” UPrep head football coach Isiah Young said. “His positive energy brought the kids right back around. We were still capable of doing this. We just had to figure out a different way.”
Jackson is committed to Central Connecticut State, making him the first division one commit in program history. UPrep starting quarterback, Clyde Davis, Jr. said that the team rallied around Jackson being out especially since it was his senior season.
“His injury was like what pieced the team together like we all came together after that,” Davis, Jr. said.
The Griffins’ only loss of the season came against Brighton, the game in which Jackson was injured. Since then, the team won eight straight games even avenging their loss to the Bruins last week in the Class A1 championship 40-8.
“When Jordan got hurt, it helped us find our identity,” UPrep lineman Sherod Watkins said. “Once we found our identity we just took over.”
UPrep does not have their own practice field so they have to bus to nearby fields such as Marina Auto Stadium or John Marshall High School to get their work done. But coach Young said the kids don’t complain about it. In fact, it’s something they embrace.
“We don’t have much in terms of the weight room, facilities, you know we don’t have our own field or things of that nature,” Young said. “But you’ll very rarely hear the kids talk about that.”
“Everybody else has the resources but we don’t,” Davis, Jr. said. “So that just made us more hungry. We just come out here with a chip on our shoulder and work even harder in practice.”
Davis Jr., added that the team is playing to spend more time with each other with a bunch of friends who grew up together. They’ll have another opportunity to extend that time in the state qualifier against Canandaigua this Friday.