Student-Athlete Spotlight: Jacob Bradley
By Genevieve Turner
It’s a Friday night at Horn Field. The stands are full of fans as they cheer with anticipation of the rush of players to come (pre-COVID, of course). When the first arm breaks through the decorated banner, the screams and cheers come to a deafening roar. The next moments are a sea of black and gold as the many players run onto the field preparing to demolish the opponents.
From afar, every player seems to blend together. But, if you look closely, one stands out from the rest. From a distance, his shoulder-length blond hair is his most prominent feature, but with a closer look, you can distinguish Jacob Bradley by the look of determination and hard work etched onto his face.
Bradley was only a sophomore when he got a starting spot at varsity running back. This makes him one of the very few who got to step out onto the field as a varsity player while only being an underclassman. Last season Bradley had a total of 25 rushing yards, with an average of 2.8 rushing yards per game. Bradley also had a total of nine carries, 52 solo tackles, and 75 total tackles.
Bradley started playing flag football in first grade, and in fourth grade, he made the switch to tackle football. Since then, his coaches and teammates have seen him improve immensely.
His teammates and coaches both say many positive things about him. Senior wide receiver Davante Dennis describes Bradley as, “Hilarious, hardworking, and he’s like a brother.”
Fellow teammate, senior QB Randy Fizer, said, “He is hardworking, talented, and I would say, has a strong sense of brotherhood.”
Offensive Coach Jeremy Granger described Bradley as, “Dedicated, athletic, and intense.” Coach Granger also mentioned that Bradley is special because he can make up for strategic errors with athletic ability, and stresses that not many players are able to do that.
“He never is satisfied with the way he is performing currently,” said Coach Granger, “He always wants to better himself and always does things to better himself.”
“He is the kid that is a returning starter. Not a lot of players are able to start 10 games as a sophomore but he was able to do that,” Coach Granger said. “He is gonna have a leadership role to play.”
He may not have the title of Captain yet, but many still look to him to set an example. “A lot of times even though he is a junior, some guys are thrown into that role, of a leader, but he will be fine and he will lead by example,” said Coach Granger.
Over the past year, Bradley has expressed that he had struggled with his motivation towards football. “…I let myself go and lost my motivation, but over the summer I was able to get it back.” Part of this loss of motivation was when Red Lion played Central High School last season. Red Lion lost and Bradley got upset with himself because he wasn’t able to gain any yards or get out of the place in which he was stuck.
Bradley turned these emotions into hard work, determination, and drive. Which he plans on using this Friday when Red Lion plays against Central High School again.
Although his future is undecided, Bradley plans to continue playing both football and lacrosse and hopes to continue on in college.
“I would be nowhere near the same person I am now without football.”