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|All in the Family for Jackson|
Eddie Ray Jackson provided a lot of highlights as a football player at Vidalia High in the 1980s.
His sons are providing even more.
After South Plaquemines High sophomore Bradley Sylve was captured the state championship in the Class 1A 100-meter and 200-meter dash, his younger brother Ramonte Jackson continued dominating his age group in AAU events.
It's real exciting," Jackson said. "Coming up in sports I always wanted my kids to excel more than what I did and they have superseded that."
Sylve won the 100-meter dash in 10.60, the fastest time among high school freshmen in the country and t he second-fastest time in the state meet. He also captured the 200-meter dash in 21.85.
The 15-year-old Sylve ranks sixth among intermediate boys (15-16) in the Junior Olympics list.
Sylve attended Port Sulphur High School until it was consolidated with Buras and following Hurricane Katrina.
Sylve's times in the state meet caught the attention of the New York Times writer Jere Longman, who wrote in a blog,
"The 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics have not yet been awarded to a host city, but here is a name to file away as a possible participant in track and field: Bradley Sylve.
"Earlier this month, Sylve won the Louisiana Class 1A state championships at 100 meters (10.60 seconds) and 200 meters (21.85 seconds). He competes for South Plaquemines High, a consolidated school of 200 students formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in southeast Louisiana, 45 miles below New Orleans.
"The times are remarkable for two reasons. One, Sylve is a freshman. Two, South Plaquemines has no track. Sylve and the school's other sprinters practice on the football field. He is a cornerback/running back on a football team that won the state title last December."
Sylve said he did not like track until the schools consolidated and South Plaquemines head football and track coach Cyril Crutchfield, a former running back at Louisiana-Monroe, talked him into running track.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the oil and fishing villages of Port Sulphur, Buras, Boothville and Venice. For a year, there was no school in lower Plaquemines Parish, no sports, and almost no people.
South Plaquemines defeated West St. John 48-8 for the Class A state championship last year.
"I had an eye injury and only played in eight games last year," Sylve said.
Sylve started at cornerback as an eighth-grader at Port Sulphur and is now playing wide receiver for the South Plaquemines Hurricanes.
"I love it because I get the ball more," he said.
Sylve caught two touchdown passes against Riverside in a scrimmage last month. The Hurricanes season-opener against Ben Franklin was cancelled last week because of Hurricane Gustav.
Sylve said he never really liked track, but when the schools combined Coach Crutchfield asked me to run," Sylve said. "I told him the 200 was too long and I didn't like it. But now you can't get me off the track. I love it."
But track will always be second to football for Sylve.
"Track may be my way to school, but I want to play football," he said.
Eddie Ray said he enjoyed watching his son compete at the state meet.
"I was kind of nervous, especially because I was sitting next to Coach Shavers (LSU track coach Dennis Shavers)," Jackson said. "I love the competition track brings. You can't blame anybody else but yourself is something goes wrong. You don't have to worry about blocking."
Ramonte, who attends fifth grade at Vidalia Upper, won the bantam long jump at the AAU National Indoor Championships in Merryville, In., in February with a leap of 14 feet, 9 inches and the high jump by going 4 feet, 4 inches.
He also won the triathlon with 588 points.
At the USATF Junior Olympics in Omaha, Ne.,, Ramonte won the long jump at 15 feet, 6 inches, was third in the high jump at 4 feet, 3.75 inches. He was also 13th in the 100-dash at 14.01.
At the AAU Junior Olympics in Detroit, Mi., Ramonte was second in the long jump at 15 feet, 3 inches, third in the high jump with a personal best 4 feet, 6 inches and was part of the 4X100 relay team which placed fifth.
"Ramonte did not warm up for the long jump and only had two practice jumps, so I was upset with him," Eddie Ray said.
"I learned not to take anything for granted," Ramonte said. "I know I have to prepare better."
Ramonte has the nation's best long jump in the bantam boys division at 16 feet, 2 inches.
Eddie Ray rushed for 1,983 yards on 340 carries in 1985 as a senior at Vidalia and was named Most Outstanding Player in Class AA before signing with Southern Mississippi.
At USM, Jackson played tailback behind Brett Favre, who recently signed with the New York Jets after playing in Green Bay for years.
Jackson said he wasn't surprised to see Favre decide to play again after retiring from Green Bay.
"I had an inside source tell me if the situation was perfect and he got a good offer he would come back," Jackson said. "I know he will do well. I don't think he is too old."
Jackson said it is unfortunate the criticism Favre has received over his decision.
"Everybody has the right to change their mind," he said. "That's part of it. There were a lot of things said that were not right. There are two sides to every story."
Jackson said he is planning to go to Nashville to the Jets-Titans game in November.
"I want to support him because he needs that now," Jackson said.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|