TAMPA – The Cambridge Christian Lancers are deeper in the playoffs than they’ve ever been and it’s thanks to many young men that have bought into what Head Coach Bob Dare is selling them on a principle that goes well beyond the football field.
One of those young men that has bought-in, is ATH J’Kobi Reddick. The 5-foot-8, 171-pound junior transferred from Tampa Catholic last season and his play has paid dividends to the Lancers seasons enormously. Reddick has caught 10 passes for 221 yards and five touchdowns while adding 167 yards on 11 carries on the offensive side of the ball. He’s also produced 28 tackles, five interceptions and 10 pass deflections on defense. Not to be outdone there–he’s returned 10 kickoffs for over 300 yards and 11 punts for 144 yards on the season.
We caught up with Reddick after the Lancers practiced in advance of their Class 2A State Semifinal contest with Naples-First Baptist and asked him some questions about his season along with his feeling about the new school and his head coach. Here now is five good minutes with Cambridge Christian’s J’kobi Reddick.
BCP: How’s the season going in your own words?
Reddick: “The season has gone pretty crazy. Me personally–I’ve been having a good season. Overall–our team is playing really good. Especially our defense like last week when we started the game off with a pick-six.”
BCP: They way you guys blew through your schedule up until the last three weeks, it looked pretty easy–even though it’s never as easy as it looks. What say you?
Reddick: “I feel like the beginning of the season was kinda easy because some of the teams weren’t as challenging, but at the end of the schedule when we played Carrollwood Day, Northside and Admiral Farragut it got difficult–when we played Northside, only one of the three reporters in the paper picked us to beat them–when we played Admiral Farragut, none of the three picked us to beat them. It just got us pumped up and ready to play and to prove that we are better than that and that we’ve worked hard to get to this point.”
BCP: What was it like on that sideline last Friday when you guys were down 25-7 late in the third quarter and your season was in the balance?
Reddick: “I was just trying to get us pumped on the sideline and I just kept saying that it was in our heart–if we really want to comeback–we’ve got to dig deep to win this game. Some people had their heads down–I had my head down–I’m not gonna lie–then something kicked in–we started to feel the momentum and I just kept trying to push my teammates. I had to keep making sure nobody had their heads down and it felt like we just started rolling after that making big play after big play on defense and offense.”
BCP: We spoke with Coach Dare earlier this year and he gave us his message for each and every one of you guys about becoming more than just young men–but men of character and Faith. What’s that been like for you?
Reddick: “Yes sir, I totally agree. He’s building us to be men on and off the field and especially young men of God also–he wants us to have a strong relationship with each other and with God–and balance the two out. He just wants us to stay ‘prayed up'”
BCP: You moved over from Tampa Catholic last season, why Cambridge?
Reddick: “Last year I was slacking–a bunch of my friends were there–and I just realized at some point next year’s going to be my junior year and time is running out. I had to really kick it into gear. I discussed it with my Mom and told her I needed to get more serious and she agreed. She was on my case all last year and my freshman year and just felt like it was the better choice.”
BCP: You’ve done just about everything you can–whether offense, defense or special teams–you have a preference?
Reddick: “I don’t know. I like it all. I like when I get the ball and score a touchdown–I like making a big play on defense–I like catching balls on punt returns. It doesn’t matter.”