It is time to start honoring the great students in the area for the 2022-23 year as they have not only been able to succeed on the field or court but also in the classroom.
This week’s HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mac Student-Athlete of the Week has been one of the top running backs in the area for the past two years. A preseason injury will limit Jackson Overton on the field at the beginning of the year, but this young man knows that there are other things he can do to help the St. Dominic football team succeed.
Overton rushed for 1,231 yards a year ago while scoring 29 touchdowns to help the Crusaders win a district title before falling to MICDS in the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 4 quarterfinals.
Overton suffered an injury in St. Dominic’s preseason jamboree that will keep him sidelined for the first part of the season. As a team leader, this affected not only him but the rest of the team as he provides that leadership on and off the field.
“Obviously when it happened, I broke down immediately,” stated Overton. “Not because of the pain, but because you don’t want something like this to happen, especially before your senior year. I always have had a love for football, and it is a big part of my life, so for this to happen before my final high school career, it was a lot to handle. I knew that I needed to be strong for the people around me and my teammates. I will be back but, in the meantime, the team still needs me. Once I got over the initial pain, both physically and mentally, I need to step into the role that I am in right now and help the team in whatever way I could.”
The Overton family has always had football in their lives, so for Jackson to want to be on the field and how he loves the game, it came as no one’s surprise that he would be on the field on Friday nights and be as successful as he is.
“Football has run through my family for a long time, especially with my dad and my grandpa, who was a big-time recruit when he was a fullback in high school,” said Overton. “I started to love the game at a very young age. I had to beg my parents to play flag football before I was in kindergarten. They were not going to let me play tackle football until middle school, but I convinced them to let me play, so I started in second grade, I was up before school every morning watching SportsCenter on ESPN to see the Top 10 plays and I stayed up late at night watching games. I have always had a love for sports, especially football. I have my love for the game that is serious.”
To be at the top of the charts for the past two seasons and now how he approaches his rehab, Overton knows that hard work and preparation are big keys to being successful.
“Ever since I started playing football, I had to be dialed in because I was always the smallest guy on the field,” stated Overton. “I have always had something to prove, and that fire has never died out. Every single person is going to have questions about me as a player and as a person on what I can do both on and off the field. Doing the training that I have done two or three times a week with my speed and agility trainer and going to Elite Football Academy has helped me. Plus, doing stuff on my own by going down to the field when we are on break to get ladder work in. I am just trying to be the best player that I can be so that I can help my high school team succeed.”
Now that he is injured, he has taken on another role as a leader for the Crusaders. Overton had to shift gears and start to think about how he can help the team’s success by being on the sidelines and not on the field.
“We had a lot of guys that were upset when the injury happened,” said Overton. “Our team is very close as we are a big family. Just as much as it hurt me physically and mentally, it hurt them as well. I knew that I needed to be strong for them was the number one thing for me. I wanted them to not lose faith in the season and they bought into the next guy up mentally. We have a lot of talented kids and there are so many that have not got a lot of carries in the past that have stepped up and have had a great first two games of the year. One guy, Thomas Pulliam, was playing slot for us and now is starting at running back, has done an amazing job so far. He is always asking me to help and watch film with him. I just want to help those guys that may not have a lot of experience at those positions be successful.”
To be a leader on the field, you need to also lead in the classroom. Overton knows that he needs to have that balance of both as football is not going to be there forever.
“I give credit to my parents as they have always been hard on me about my grades,” stated Overton. “My mom and dad have always emphasized the student-athlete part as the student part is always first. At the end of the day, it is not just athletics that will get me into college, it will be my academics and going forward in life, that will be a big deal. Football is not going to take you everywhere. It will take you to some great places, but down the road, you must count on yourself and the stuff that you learned in school. I make sure that I get things done when it comes to homework and studying for tests as I know that I am gifted, but my parents are always on my back and pushing me to be the best not only on the field but in the classroom.
Congratulations to Jackson Overton of St. Dominic High School on being named our first HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mac student-athlete of the week for the school year and we wish him all the best in his recovery and can’t wait to see him back on the field.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan