Nick James is proof of how attending a camp in the summer can help you improve your game and prepare you for the fall.
James said he learned a lot this summer while attending Seymour’s football team camp at Mitchell.
“The summer stuff when we were at Mitchell, it was really good team bonding,” James said. “We had this thing called ‘the hill.’ We were out there at one in the morning just running up and down this hill. The trust we had for each other, pulling through for each other that experience we had right there made me excited for this season.”
He started at safety in the scrimmage against Corydon Central, and in the season opener last Friday at Silver Creek where he amassed six tackles.
James said his assignment changes depending on opponents’ offensive formations.
“If the other team has three right (receivers) I will roll over to the right side, but if they just have two receivers I’ll always line up on the left side,” he said. “If there is a tight end, I would key the tight end, but if they have two receivers I would watch the slot or the wing back. If the other team had a player go in motion I would be the one following the player across the field, and my partner, Alex Holt, would take my guy.”
The key to playing good pass coverage is watching the receiver, according to James.
“When we know it is a passing down our coaches teach us to key their eyes,” James said. “When the ball is in the air their eyes are getting bigger. When they put their hands up, when we’re in ‘fade’ that’s when we can look back and key the ball and use our timing and go up and get it.”
Ryan McCartney is the defensive coordinator for the Owls and calls the defensive signals.
“(McCartney)will make a sign for the linebackers to tell the D-line what to, and then he’ll make a sign for the secondary and tell us what to do,” James said. “If we know it’s a passing down we’ll sit in what we call a ’40.’ We’ll play that in a passing down. If it’s third and one, and we know it’s going to be a run, we’ll go to our base.”
James, who is 5-11 and 170 pounds, missed the entire 2015 football season because of an injury to his left ankle he sustained in June playing basketball.
He said that injury gave him the drive and desire to want to come back and work hard for this season.
James said it is going to take better focus to have a winning season.
“It takes effort,” he said. “If it’s a third-and-one, you’ve got to get that yard and get a first down. We weren’t very focused on the little techniques and the details with the four turnovers we had last week. Coming into conference we need to sharpen up those little aspects.
“Football is a great stress reliever after a bad day of school. The brotherhood it brings, all the connections and it prepares you for life and stuff. Hanging outside of school and inside of school is a big part in the team chemistry.”
In the winter, James will return to the basketball team.
“I’m more of a ‘3’ player (small forward),” James siad. “I don’t mind playing the ‘4,’ and getting down in the paint and the physicality it brings. I’m pretty confident in my shots. I worked on my shooting a lot this summer playing AAU and that boosted up my confidence.
“I love the home basketball games and seeing the gym packed at sectional time. We can’t focus on what happened in the past. We’ve just got to come together as a team.”
James said he has enjoyed attending Seymour High School.
“I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” he said. “I love it here. Growing up I always dreamed about being in a purple jersey, and playing on the court has always been a big dream of mine. In football I’ll remember all the tough battles we’ve been through and how Coach (Josh) Shattuck has changed the program. It’s a great process to go through.”
Name: Nick James
Parents: Christina Jenkins, Jesse James
Siblings: Cameron and Tyler
Sports: Football, four years; basketball, four years
Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University for physical therapy
Favorite food: Tacos
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite movie: “Remember The Titans”
Favorite team: Florida State
What: Jeffersonville (0-1) at Seymour (0-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Bulleit Stadium
Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon
Last outing: Silver Creek def. Seymour 29-16, Southwestern (Ky.) def. Jeffersonville 65-26.
Most recent meeting: Jeffersonville won 35-22 on Aug. 28, 2015.
Series past 30 years: Jeffersonville 11-8.