By Jeremy McDonald
JEFFERSON, Ore.– Football has been a part of Jayden Harrison’s life since the fifth-grade. It’s an escape. A stress reliever. Overall the sport has meant everything to him as he enters his senior year at Jefferson High School.
“To me, Football is my escape from all the stresses and stuff in my life. It means a lot to me, it really got me out of a problematic childhood growing up and I stuck with it,” Harrison said. “Watching myself grow and my teammates grow has made me enjoy it.”
Over the course of the last three years, Harrison has played Quarterback, Wide Receiver having dabbled at Quarterback his freshman year before making the move out to Wide Receiver the past two years before making the move back to Quarterback going into this season. That experience of playing receiver, especially last year as Harrison was part of the Lions squad that reached the 2A State Quarterfinals and won their first playoff game since 1965.
“It’s definitely a little bit stressful, but I know that my team needs me and that I know that I can be there,” starts Harrison. “At the High School level, I feel like I understand the game better as a receiver and being able to see plays develop, watch my quarterback and my team and I can apply it with what they’ve done for me this year.”
Harrison showed signs of leadership during Friday afternoon’s optional workout, taking blame for bad snaps and also helping teammates through a few minor details on the field as the first ‘official’ practice starts on August 15. With a solid core of returners expecting to come back like Gage Frost, Giovany Lopez-Chronicle, Brayden Lekkerkerm Calvin Grantom and Tucker Human to name a few this Fall with Jefferson’s first game of the year falling on September 2 against Creswell.
“I feel like for me, I just know that my team needs me and that my coach really needs me as one of the players that have been here the past few years. I feel like it’s a little bit easier knowing that I have my teams back as much as they have mine,” Harrison said.
With Jefferson moving back up to 3A this Fall, Harrison points to some nerves. But Harrison also is confident in his team and their ability to compete and do well making the move back up.
“I know that…now that my team knows what it takes if everyone’s willing to put in the work,” Harrison says confidently.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald