KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Sullivan South High School football team runs pretty much everything through senior running back Julian Reed.
“He probably carried 70% of the offense when he was going at full speed, and then we could throw off of his play action,” head coach Justin Hilton said. “But it’s nice having him as a weapon even if it’s just as a decoy sometimes.”
Of course, that’s when he’s healthy.
“Well the first time it was his hip and that was in a scrimmage against Science Hill, and that caused him to miss a little bit, and then it was a high ankle sprain later in the season and that injury’s nagging,” Hilton said.
Reed has already racked up over 1,000 yards rushing in the first half of the year, but the ankle injury kept him out of multiple games.
“It was scary, it was saddening because it was the 2nd or 3rd major one I had and that’s weird for me, not being injured my sophomore or junior year, so to have three major injuries all in one season that was very saddening, degrading but come back stronger than ever,” Reed said.
For him, it was about keeping the right mindset, knowing that he would slowly but surely make his way back in there.
“It was great because I went in, first game back on the field was Elizabethton so still feeling a little bit of effect on it, then Tennessee High and then the playoff game recently where I knew I felt like I’m 100 percent and ready to play so that felt great,” Reed said.
You could tell it felt great for him, as he racked up nearly 250 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s playoff win.
“He’s one of those infections people, he draws people to him he draws his teammates to him, he’s fun to be around and you know he’s always gonna play as hard as he can,” Hilton said.
Next up for Reed and the Rebels is a rematch with Elizabethton in round two of the playoffs.
“We’re excited about it, you get to play the number one team in the state with a Mr. Football semifinalist, I mean heck we’re going to play the best and we’re excited and we’re going to do the best we can,” Hilton said.
“Determination and heart, we played them and played a good game against them and they’re a really good team but it’s just determination, we have to work up there at practice the whole week getting ready and just getting better as a team and our heart will carry us there,” Reed said.
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