Big Footsteps to Follow

Greenwood will have a new signal caller this season in junior Jabe Burgess (6-2, 190), who is Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson's cousin and hoping to continue the Bulldogs' winning tradition.

When you are the quarterback at ultra-successful Greenwood, expectations are high.

When you also Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson's cousin, well, those expectations just go through the roof.

Such is the case with junior Jabe Burgess (6-2, 195), who will take over as the Bulldogs' starting signal caller 2012 after being in a back-up role last season.

"He (Tyler) has helped me more than anything," Burgess said. "He is down there most every other weekend and we get up in our indoor facility and throw the ball around and do some weight workouts that they do in Fayetteville. It has helped me a lot over the years."

Greenwood has been a powerhouse in Class 5A for over a decade under head coach Rick Jones with back-to-back state titles and five in the last eight years.

The Bulldogs, whose 14-0 season was capped with a 53-11 hammering of Batesville in the 2011 state title game, are moving up to Class 6A this season.

"We have a great coaching staff under Coach Jones' leadership and they really get us in great shape and that helps us a lot. I feel like we are always in better shape at the end of the season than most teams that we play."

Burgess, who completed 12-of-16 passes for 77 yards backing up senior Hayden Smith, is looking forward to his team moving up a level this season.

"We are moving up in classification and we are using it as motivation," Burgess said. "We are not scared, we see it as a challenge and prove some people wrong."

"I am working on arm strength and speed over the summer," Burgess said. "I am going to a lot of different camps and seeing what the coaches there have to tell me and see what help I can get from them."

"We jumped on a lot of teams and that allowed me to get a lot of playing time at the back end of games," Burgess said. "That really helped me a lot. It was great experience for taking over this season."

Jabe Burgess

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