By Erik Harris
PINSON – After a freshman season that unexpectedly slung him into action, Pinson Valley quarterback Jackie Matthews is growing into a team leader.
The upcoming sophomore went 3-2 as the Indians’ starter last year and is entering fall camp with the job still in hand.
“It’s [Matthews’] job to lose for sure,” said second-year offensive coordinator Jon Clements. “He’s the guy, he’s the leader in our locker room, he’s the leader in all of our drills and in the weight room. He’s going to make us go.”
Clements, who also serves as Pinson Valley’s quarterback coach, has seen tremendous improvement from his young signal caller since the end of the 2014 season. Matthews quarterbacked a loosing effort at Southside Gadsden in the opening round of last year’s playoffs.
“He was the puppy that wasn’t getting to come off the porch much and now he’s the guy,” Clements said. “The kids respect [Matthews] and he really controls himself. To be 15-years-old, he’s really grown up.”
“Jackie Matthews has gone from a 14-year-old that had no clue to a 15-year-old that owns the offense. Jackie is there [at the field house] when I get there and he leaves when I leave. He’s really soaking it up and our kids see that.”
The quarterback he replaced in the sixth week of last season, Errius Collins, will line up at receiver this fall, but continues taking practice snaps at quarterback.
“We’re still going to put him at quarterback and do some stuff with him just because of his athletic ability, but I would say that he’s our No. 3 guy,” Clements said.
According to Clements, junior Zach Moore has worked himself into the quarterback conversation and currently serves as Matthews’ backup.
“He’s really progressed and gotten a lot better. I think [Moore] will be a good backup for us,” said Clements.