KICK IT WITH THE BULLDOGS: Andy long snapper uses position to help charity
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Andalusia High School senior long snapper and tight end Whitman Jackson has started drive to raise money for a chartiy during the 2018 football season.
“It’s a charity that for every field goal, PAT and punt snap we make this year you can pledge like a dollar or whatever you want towards it,” Jackson said, “You can also just make a full donation. I’ve got one donation right now where one person just donated $50. It goes to research for pediatric cancer.”
Jackson said that the charity runs through a bigger site that does a lot of charity work.
“It runs through Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Kick-It.org which is a bigger organization,” Jackson said. “This is a small branch of it. I thought it was something I could do to make a difference.”
Helping others is something that Jackson enjoys doing and to be able to do it while playing football is special to him.
“I love football and it’s a way to make a difference while doing something I love,” Jackson said. “That’s the reason I really wanted to do it. Football is fun, but it’s not going to last forever. Stuff that you do like this is going to be more of an impact than football will ever be. I just really felt like this was something that I would like to do.”
Jackson said he found out about the charity while attending a camp.
“It actually kind of came out of nowhere,” Jackson said of the idea. “I was at a football camp in Atlanta and they were advertising there and I talked to my mom about it and we signed up for it. It just kind of happened out of the blue.”
He is hoping to get a lot people donating to the cause.
“My goal is to raise $2,500 this year,” Jackson said. “That’s kind of a small goal, but anything helps. Hopefully, we can go way past that, but my goal is $2,500.”
Helping others is something that Jackson said he enjoys.
“I love traveling, so this summer I went on a mission trip to Alaska,” Jackson said. “That was really fun so just stuff like just really makes it mean a whole lot more than just doing what you love. It puts a lot more impact on it.”
Jackson said he began playing football at an early age, but didn’t take to the game at first.
“I played one time when I was in elementary school,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t the most athletic, I’m still not the most athletic, but back then I wasn’t really the football type so I only played one year. Then in middle school I started playing again and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
When he got to high school, Jackson said he began to really strive to be the best player that he could be.
“I was long snapper in middle school,” Jackson said. “I really didn’t start taking it seriously until between my ninth and tenth grade year and it just went from there.”
For the most part, being a long snapper doesn’t get much attention until things go wrong Jackson said.
“It really comes down to you don’t want to be the person that the coaches have to worry about,” Jackson said on what drives him to be the best player he can be. “That’s your job and you want to be good at it, especially at that position. Long snapping is not the glory job. If you are doing your job, you should go unnoticed. It’s a lot of pressure, but after awhile you learn to deal with the pressure.”
Jackson said he hopes to have a great year on the football field in his final year at Andalusia.
“I want to be perfect this year,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to have any bad snaps or anything like that. I just want to make some plays and make some good things happen.”
As for the team, Jackson expects big things from the Bulldogs in 2018.
“We are going to come out every Friday night and play as hard as we can,” Jackson said. “We are going to win ballgames. My goal is to make it to the state championship. Before Coach (Trent) Taylor got here that wasn’t really even a thought, but our goal now is to make the state championship every year. That’s the expectation.”
For those who would like to donate to Jackson’s “Kick It With The Bulldogs”, go to https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1458233.
He is the son of Jody and Nicole Jackson.