Player of the Week: James Wilson

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Demopolis fans are used to seeing James carry the ball for more than 200 yards and lead their team to victory. Only, in most instances, it is DaMarcus James that answers that bell.

Last Friday night appeared to be another one of those epic nights that would add to James’ ever-growing lore as he totalled 68 yards on his first four carries. But quickly after that fourth carry, James hobbled to the sideline and indicated that something was wrong. He did not play the rest of the first half and played sparingly in the second half.

His absence left a major void in the Demopolis offense and provided what could have been a chilling glimpse of life after No. 4. That’s where the other James stepped in.

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James Wilson, still just a junior, has produced all season long. But Friday night was the first time in his career he has been given the opportunity to play the role of feature back. He embraced that casting with open arms, toting the ball 33 times for 256 yards and two touchdowns while helping his team to an undefeated record in region play. But the most impressive part of Wilson’s night was not the stat line or the gutsy performance. It was what he said afterward.

“I just had to dig down deep and come up big for him,” Wilson said following the game. “He is the heart and soul of the team and sometimes we’ve got to come through for him.”

James Wilson had every opportunity to claim the spotlight. He could easily have pointed out that he has been productive all year or that he was not surprised with himself because he knew what he could do. Instead, he chose to shed the light on the player who has bailed the Tigers out on countless occasions. He chose to honor his teammate and friend. And for that, if for no other reason, Tiger fans should take comfort in knowing there will be another season of James carrying the ball in Demopolis blue, even if it is a different James than the one to which they are accustomed.

— Jeremy D. Smith