Last season the Aberdeen (Miss.) Bulldogs made it all the way to Jackson for the 3A State Championship Game. This year, the Bulldogs are an early favorite to make a return trip as well.
One of the key players for the Bulldogs to reach that goal will be 2013 linebacker/ running back Justin Lucas. Lucas is ready to do all he can to make the return trip a reality.
Getting to play with one of the top players in the nation in four-star defensive end Channing Ward has been a blessing for Lucas. Learning how to be a team leader is just one of the important things that Justin has learned while playing alongside Ward.
"Channing is just a great leader for all of us, both on and off the field," Lucas said. "He shows us the right way to do things. On the field he gets double teamed alot and that helps me make plays. I am able to run free to the ball and make tackles. Off the field he shows us what it takes to be a great student as well."
Making a state title run was a great learning experience for Aberdeen last year. But just getting to Jackson was not enough. The Bulldogs have their sites on finishing the deal this year and Lucas says that's exactly what they intend to do.
"We are just a great team," Lucas said. "We are young in some spots but we have great leaders. We are working so hard just to get back to state. I have no doubt that we are going back. I know this year we won't be happy unless we win though."
Signing day is well over a year away for Lucas, but he is already starting to receive mail from some schools. And while he isn't focused on that just yet, he is happy to receive the attention this early in the game.
"I went to camp at LSU," Lucas said. "I really liked it down there a lot. I am also getting mail from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and UAB. They are all sending me mail saying they are going to be watching me this year for sure. I want to go somewhere that has a great winning tradition in football. And getting a good education is of course the most important thing for me."