Hughes works, plays hard at center

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 8, 2013

Landon Hughes participates in practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Landon Hughes (center) participates in practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Landon Hughes plays as hard as he can on every down and every play.

The Opp senior center will be using his work ethic on the gridiron tonight as the Bobcats visit Fayette County for the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

Hughes, at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, also plays at inside linebacker for OHS.

“I really like them both,” Hughes said about both positions. “I play more center because I’m a back up on defense.”

During the season, there’s been a couple nose guards who have made their presence known at the line of scrimmage, Hughes said.

“W.S. Neal had a pretty good defensive lineman, and Straughn’s nose guard is pretty good,” he said.

When asked how he manages to play against bigger opponents, Hughes said he doesn’t change what he does.

“I just got to be on my best game when I play against a better guy,” he said. “I play hard every down — play hard as you can. You never know when it might be your last.”

The last time Opp won a game was against WSN three weeks ago. Hughes said he had his best game against the Eagles.

“It was our biggest win the whole season,” he said. “It was our best game as a team. It got us in the playoffs.”

Against FCHS, Hughes said he believes the team has a good shot.

“I know our coaches have put a lot of time this weekend putting our game plan together,” he said. “I think they’ve done a good job. If we excecute the game plan they’ve come up with, then it’ll give us a really good chance to win.”

Staying in a good rhythm, like the Bobcats didn’t do against Straughn, is one of the big keys for Opp tonight, Hughes said.

“We didn’t play our best game against Straughn,” Hughes said. “That’s not a secret. We did some good things, but we didn’t do them consistently enough to win. I really think this week, if we put it all together like we’re capabale of doing and keep the momentum more than they do, then we’ll be good.”

Hughes has been playing football since the sixth grade, and also plays baseball for the Bobcats. He loves the sport because there’s nothing like the feeling one gets before a game. The same feeling he’ll have tonight in Fayette.

“That feeling you get every Frioday night before a game, there’s nothing like it,” he said. “It’s just the ultimate team game. It takes all 11 players to be good, and to win.”

While making the playoffs was the main goal, the Bobcats want to go farther.

“It’s a good goal just to make the playoffs and to be there, but we want to do something that’s never been done in Opp before,” Hughes said. “We want to make it to at least the third round; not that we want to stop there. That’s our goal from here on out. I’d say we would be pretty disappointed in ourselves if we don’t do that.”

Landon is the son of Jeff and Georgianna Hughes of Opp.