Ponder looks to step up for the Green Wave
Jacerie Ponder is looking to make a serious splash for the Green Wave this football season.
Ponder is a rising senior so he wants to make the most of his final season with Summerville. Last year, he was a starter at cornerback and also spent time as a back up tailback and fullback.
He finished the season as the team’s sixth leading tackler with 71 tackles including 43 solo tackles. On offense, he carried the ball 15 times for a 9.6 yards per carry average and provided his fair share of blocks.
This year Ponder was slated to take over Jerod Tucker’s role as running back so he was planning on sharing the primary ball carrying duties with Davon Anderson, who led the Green Wave rushers in 2012 with more than 1,300 yards on 163 carries. But before summer practice opened, Anderson moved out of state.
That makes Ponder’s experience even more vital to the team’s 2013 campaign, but he is embracing the challenge.
“I can take the pressure,” Ponder said. “It actually keeps me focused knowing that the team is counting on me more so I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited about getting out there and playing. Since I was little I always ran the ball so getting to do it more will be fun.”
He will also continue to see some time in the defensive backfield. During scrimmages this month Ponder has also been used as a blocker on special teams units.
Green Wave running backs coach Preston Giet says Anderson will be missed, but Ponder is a skilled rusher who can get the job done.
“Jacerie is just a great all-around back,” Giet said. “He has good speed; he is one of the best we have catching the ball out of the backfield; and he is an excellent blocker.”
Rising junior David Coccoli is also likely to see more time as a running back this season and the team has several other athletes who can run the ball. Coccoli was used primarily as a backup quarterback last season.
Ponder has high hopes for the season, but says for now he is keeping his priorities simple.
“I just want to work to improve all aspects of my game,” he said. “That is what we all need to do. We need to focus on getting better every day. We want a state championship, but we know we have some work to do.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org