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Ready for the next step

For graduating Straughn senior Jerrod James, playing football has been a life-long passion.

Being able to take his love in life to the next level at Mississippi College this fall is a privilege few get to experience.

James has been playing football since he was in little league and on through the termites and pee-wee leagues before playing on the junior varsity team, where he says the game became serious for him.

And, for the last four years, James has played on the football team under Straughn coach Trent Taylor.

James said his time at SHS has been enjoyable.

“It’s been an enjoyable learning experience,” James said.

James said the most important thing he has learned while in high school was to never give up.

“It’s not really a motto, but I guess you could say it is,” he said. “I wouldn’t take it that way. That’s something I’ve learned that no matter what, even if you don’t know what to do and you’re doing something wrong, just to make sure you give it your all when you do it. At least, continue through at full speed through whatever you’re doing.”

James will start at Mississippi College this fall at the left tackle position and said that was the reason why he chose to attend school there.

He said he always knew that he would have a chance to continue his playing career in college.

“I felt that I had the ability to go and play football at the next level,” James said. “Maybe not as high as Division I levels, but definitely small colleges for sure.”

Other colleges that considered James include Greenville College (Illinois), Huntingdon College, Iowa Wesleyan, Sterling College (Kansas), Campbellsville University (Kentucky), Southwestern College (Kansas) and Greensboro College (North Carolina).

James said his decision to play at Mississippi College was an easy one to make.

“It was close to home,” he said. “It’s a smaller school and it has a good atmosphere and it seemed like they had good people there. It was just an amazing campus — very beautiful. Everybody seemed very close to each other and it seemed like a good place to be.”

James said he hopes to have a degree in the next five to 10 years, but for now doesn’t know what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

“Hopefully I’ll be graduating with a good degree,” James said. “That’s a little up in the air as far as what I want to do for sure.”

James is the son of Jesse and Marcie James of Andalusia.