Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Jet leads Green Wave charge
By Angie Ledbetter
The best way to describe North Delta’s senior quarterback, J.T .Dalrymple. He proudly wears the No. 10 jersey with all smiles and life full of high speed energy.
He never wears down. One might be lucky if he catches him. One can never out talk him. One can never out eat him. That is what he is all about and proud of every minute of it.
This is Dalrymple’s fourth year playing his favorite sport in the world and his second year at the starting quarterback. He has played almost every position, but this year he will play only the quarterback and punter positions.
He loves the whole game of football.
“I do love practice even though it gets a little old sometimes,” he said. That’s football. Everything involved in it, I love.”
As the quarterback, Dalrymple feels most of the game is own his shoulders.
“Basically a lot of the game is on my shoulders because you have to call the play,” he said. “You have to be in good shape because you have to run back and forth to get the plays. You have to know the plays and we have over 100 that we could use at any time. You have to be able to be a leader on and off the field.”
He feels that he is a leader in the football program.
“I do look at myself as a leader,” said Dalrymple. “I try to keep the team in place. I try to set an example for the kids, especially the younger ones. They all look up to me. If you play quarterback, no matter how good you are, they’re going to look up to you because that’s one of the biggest positions in football. I try to encourage my teammates also. If they do something wrong, the seniors are going to tell them. I try to be a vocal leader both on and off the field.”
As far as handling the pressure, Dalrymple tries to take it easy and play ball.
“I can handle the pressure,” he said. “You just have to not think about it. You have to have fun when you’re out there and play your best.”
Dalyrmple feels horrible when his throws are intercepted.
“It’s the worse feeling in the world,” he said. “You feel like you let the whole team down when you do that.”
Losing the game brings the same emotion.
“Right after you lose, you’re going to be down,” said Dalrymple. “You think about what you could’ve done to help your teammates out to win. Come Monday, you’ve got to forget about it and start back with a positive practice and to win the next game on the next Friday night.”
Dalrymple has confidence in the football program at North Delta.
“It’s a great program,” he said.
Dalrymple likes the Christian atmosphere that head coach Richard Russo brought into the program.
“I think that’s a good thing because you have to have Christ in everything that you do,” he said. “We’ve formed like a family out here. We’re a better team because we’ve come together as a group.
“We watch out for each other on and off the field,” Dalrymple continued. “I see some good things coming in the future with the freshman team also.”
Dalrymple sets his goals high and expects nothing but a state championship ring this year.
“I want one bad,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to be able to say that I played in the game and won it.”
In order to see that goal realized, Dalrymple said the team has to take the season week by week, game by game, and do its best.
“We have to get in the playoffs first,” he said.
With the present coaching staff, Dalrymple feels the team can be in the championship game.
“Coach Russo, Coach (Lance) Thomas, and Coach (Brad) Wilson are all great guys,” Dalrymple said. “Whatever Coach Russo says he’s going to do, he does it. He doesn’t go back on his word. He puts the best 11 on the field.”
Dalrymple likes the 2007 schedule and thinks they are playing teams they need to be playing.
He predicts Marshall Academy will prove their greatest opponent this year.
“We only won last year by a field goal and they only lost two seniors,” he said. “It is probably the hardest hitting game that I’ve ever played in also.”
Playing football is not the only sport that Dalrymple enjoys. He also plays baseball. When not playing his two favorite sports, he finds time to hunt and hang out with his friends.
You can take a look around at any football game and see just how much of a big family support that Dalrymple has. One of his biggest fans is most likely on the sideline. Younger brother, John Cody, is a freshman and is on both the junior high and varsity teams.
“It was pretty hard last year playing football while he was having all of his surgeries,” Dalrymple said. “The Delta game was the hardest because that was when he was having one of his biggest surgeries. After the game everybody was celebrating and I was just worried about my brother.”
The biggest fans Dalrymple said he has are his grandfathers Jimmy and Harold.
“My grandmother, Betty Herron, is more of a basketball person but she comes to most of the games,” he said. “My other grandmother, Peggy Dalrymple, comes to the home games. She can’t make all of them.”
The person who has the most influence on Dalrymple is his mother, Kim Jackson.
“She has to love football because my bother and I both play it,” he said. “She encourages me and she comes to all of the games for me and my brother.
“My dad comes to the games also,” Dalrymple continued. “He usually tells me after the game, good game or you all did good. I also have an uncle and aunt that come to all of the games to support me, Steve and Amy McMinn.”
Dalrymple’s grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Herron have been attending football games with either North Delta or West Panola since 1975. Mr. Herron enjoys going to the practices for both grandsons who play at North Delta.
“It feels good to have a big family support at the games,” said Dalrymple. “It’s a good feeling.”
Dalrymple plans to attend Northwest after graduation or where ever he can continue to play sports.
“I would like to get a scholarship to play football or baseball or both if I can,” he said. “I would chose football first. It would mean a lot to me to go to a junior college and play football. I don’t know what it’s going to feel like next year if I’m not playing.”
Prior to Russo’s arrival, Dalrymple had never played quarterback.
“It was good in the sense that he had no bad habits from other systems,” Russo said. “It was bad because he didn’t have the game experience. He has matured tremendously with a grasp of offense. The 7-on-7 camp that we did this summer helped him in the passing game. He has just matured leaps and bounds in that position.”
Russo described Dalrymple as a “free spirit with a lot of energy.”
“When you put that energy in a positive direction, he is a fun guy to be around,” he said. “He is a leader in actions and words both. Sometimes he lets that energy get negative and we just don’t want him to be a leader in the negative direction. He is going to get in there and work and not complain and gripe.”
He is the son of Tim Dalrymple and Kim Jackson of Batesville.