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Determination pays off for Long player
Blue Tide nose guard Al Jackson’s determination earned him a spot on the Blue Tide squad. - photo by Mike Riddle for the Coastal Courier
When special-needs student Al Jackson approached Blue Tide head coach Kyle Wilson about trying out for the football team, the coach didn't think it was a good idea, and told the sophomore no.
But what Wilson didn't know about this Long County High School student was that he didn't want to take no for an answer.
"I was against it. I told Al that I was concerned about him getting hurt, and that it would be better if he was a manager," Wilson said.
According to the coach, even after he had told the player no, Jackson managed to get a helmet and pads and suited up the first day of practice.
After taling with players and coaches, Wilson decided to let the determined athlete try out for the team.  This wasn't Jackson's first time competing for his high school, as he had been a member of the track team in 2007, and had also attended the Georgia Southern Football Camp, earlier this summer.
    When asked about the camp, Jackson said, "I liked it, and had a good time, it was fun".
    When asked which sport he like the best, football or track, without hesitation, and with a big smile on his face, football was his answer.
    Jackson also said that his family, the rest of the football team, and now Coach Wilson, all support him being a part of the Blue Tide.
    According to Wilson, the coaches and players are working with the determined student on the defensive line.
    "We're working with Al on the DL; this is his first year ever playing football, so he's got a lot of work to do, but he's doing an excellent job", said the Head Coach.
    When the sophomore was asked about, what part of football he liked the best, he said, "I like to get right in the middle, that's why I like playing Nose Guard".
    Wilson commented on Jackson's dedication by saying, "Al hasn't missed any practices we've had; he's always on time and he has the best attitude of anyone on my team"
    The coach closed out by saying, "I wish I had a whole team of players with Al's desire and heart; if I did I would have one heck of a team".

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