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Eli Jackson puts up gaudy stats in 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

(Photo)
Eli Jackson
SIKESTON -- One reason for the improvement of the Sikeston Bulldog football team can be credited to the outstanding season of junior running back Eli Jackson.

Jackson, who had the most rushing yards (1,464) and touchdowns (21) since Justin Robinson's record breaking year in 1999 also compiled 141 points in 2008, the third most ever by a Bulldog.

Sikeston coach Kent Gibbs feels that although his running back had a great year, he can do better.

"Eli (Jackson) had a great season," he said. "But I'll be real honest, I think he can do better. I feel that he really needs to have a good offseason. He needs to get stronger. He needs to improve his overall conditioning by the time he comes in next fall. He needs to start next season like he finished this season. To do that, he is going to have to come in in shape and ready to go."

Gibbs said that Jackson isn't alone in needing to improve his conditioning.

"Two things happened this season, Eli got better and better as the season went along, but so did the whole team," Gibbs said. "We got better from a physical point of view and in a strategic point of view as well. I'd really like to see Eli come in in good enough shape to play both sides of the ball for us. For him to get better, he and the rest of us have to continue to keep working."

Gibbs said that he and Jackson both give much of the credit for Jackson's success to the hard work of the offensive line.

"You can ask Eli about that, and he will tell you the same thing I will, that we got much better on the offensive line as the season progressed," said Gibbs. "We went from the week of the jamboree thinking that we didn't have anybody who could play the offensive line to rushing for 252 yards and three touchdowns in our last game against a Farmington that could end up in the state semifinals. So we feel good about our offensive line."