Bobcat WR Lofton leads by example
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: email@example.com
Date Submitted: 2011-09-14 10:58:00
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College wide receiver Malik Lofton is not known to be a big talker on the football field.
He prefers to let his actions speak louder than his words.
“My leadership is kind of different,” he said. “I guess I’m not very vocal. I just try to lead by showing my talent and ability. But I probably do need to be a bit more vocal. I am sometimes, but not everyday.”
So far in the 2011 season, Lofton’s play on the field has talking rather loudly.
Through two games, the Wayne County sophomore has eight receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Lofton’s play has helped the Bobcats start the season with victories over Mississippi Delta (33-0) and Coahoma (46-20).
“It’s going great so far,” he said, while relaxing in the Bobcat Fieldhouse Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve scored two touchdowns and I’ve been playing well. I have not had a bad game yet. Hopefully, that will continue through the rest of the season.”
Last week against Coahoma, the Bobcats were up 14-0 late in the first quarter and had the ball on their own 21-yard line. Lofton then caught a short pass over the middle from quarterback Ben Stevens, turned on the afterburners and sprinted 79 yards for a touchdown.
“As soon as I caught it, I saw I was open,” he said. “I just tried to turn on the speed and get to the end zone.”
His first score of the season came on a 10-yard pass from Stevens in the opener against MDCC.
Lofton said it’s fun to be a part of this Bobcat offense.
“We are more explosive than last year,” he said. “We can score from anywhere on the field. We can make a long drive and score from the 1-yard line or we can hit a quick play and go 80 yards. I love it.”
Lofton said he and fellow veteran wideouts Deuce Coon, Jamaal Montague and Jonathan Ducksworth are a close-knit group. He stressed that the Bobcat receivers do not care who makes the most catches – they just want the team to be successful.
“It’s great to be a receiver here because you know you are going to get the ball in this spread offense,” the 6-foot, 195-pound product said. “I try to stay humble and I try not to get the big head. We hang with each other 24/7. We joke around with each other and support each other.
“We have no jealousy. We just want the team to do well.”
Not only do the wide receivers get along well, Lofton stressed that the entire team is on the same page.
“We have great team chemistry,” he said. “I feel like we are all brothers. We break it down with ‘brothers’ and that’s the way we all feel about each other. I am so close to them. I’ve never been on a team that was this close.”
JCJC will be presented with its toughest challenge of the young season this week. The Bobcats travel to Perkinston to face defending state champion and 13th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Bulldogs are 1-1 with a loss to 8th-rated East Mississippi Community College (34-30) and a win over Mississippi Delta (31-14). The game will be audiocast on www.jcjc.tv.
In addition, the Bulldogs have beaten JCJC seven straight times. But Lofton said the Bobcats would be prepared when they hit the road for Thursday’s 7 p.m. kickoff.
“Practice has been very good,” he said. “We have been working hard to get ready for Gulf Coast. They are a good team and everybody knows it’s going to be a big game. We have been focused on Gulf Coast and we are just going to go down there and play hard.”
Lofton came to JCJC from one of the state’s top prep football programs – Wayne County High School. He said he receives great support from his family and friends with Waynesboro only being 40 or so miles from JCJC.
“It’s not much difference,” he said. “It feels good to be close to home. My whole community shows up when we play.”
Lofton hopes to graduate in December so he can be eligible to enroll at a senior college in January. He said his options are open at the moment.
“I want to go to a Division I school, “ he said. “I would like to go to USM, but I may end up going far off from here. It really doesn’t matter because I just want a chance to play.”
Lofton added that attending Jones has helped him prepare for making the jump to senior college.
“JCJC is great,” he said. “The teachers are great and try to help you as much as they can.”
But before he makes the leap to the next level, Lofton still has plenty of unfinished business with the Bobcats.
“I hope we can go undefeated based on the way we’re playing now,” he said.
That would be a fitting way for Malik Lofton to end his career at JCJC.