By Gabriel Stovall
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — Outside of Peachtree City and McIntosh High School, he may be fresh news to some, but nobody donning the McIntosh green and white ever doubted the ability of junior tailback Bradley Ector.
His McIntosh football squad has rushed off to its first 2-0 start since 2012, and only the third since the school began playing football in 1982. And with close to 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns in two games, Ector is a big part of the Chiefs’ success.
In addition to his gridiron prowess, Ector’s getting it done in the classroom too. His GPA hovers around a 3.0, and he said he’d like to go to college wherever he can play football for free, while studying sports medicine to one day begin a life after football as an athletic trainer.
For these reasons, Ector is our “Five Questions Feature (although this week we’ve added a bonus sixth question)” Athlete of the Week.
SCBuzz: Bradley, what do you attribute to this uncharacteristic hot start for you guys?
ECTOR: “I think we didn’t have no doubt that we were going to do it together. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I think we all knew that we had something special as a team. And it feels really good. I’m happy to see how everyone from our quarterbacks to coaches believes in this team, even if nobody else really knows about us.”
SCBuzz: What’s the difference in this team and teams past?
ECTOR: “The chemistry we showed. We care about each other every day at practice every morning getting up at six-o-clock. Having practice together, weight training, sweating together. This is the group I played with at Booth Middle School, knew each other better than. We made it far then, and we can see how we’ve grown and we think we can make it far together now.”
SCBuzz: How have you seen yourself grow as a player?
ECTOR: “Me personally, I just think about how I used to, like, throw tantrums and get mad at the team, yelling at everybody if we not doing good. But I’ve learned to put that to the side and realize it’s not just me or about me. It’s the team. I’ve grown by learning how to care about the whole team, not being self centered and just wanting to make my plays. Everybody has to make plays. Our coaches engrained in us that you have to care. It’s only us out there on the field. Nobody else out there but your brothers. You care for each other, go out together to have your best practice ever and we win the day together.”
SCBuzz: You got a pretty good blowout win against Decatur and eeked one out against Mt. Zion. What did winning that close game do for your team’s confidence?
ECTOR: “That just showed me the kind of team we are and how much more chemistry we have now. If that (Mount Zion game) happened last year, in a game like that we probably would end up losing. That’s because all of us were not close then like we are now. We know we’re not gonna win without each other. We realize better now that being mad and pouting when stuff doesn’t go right doesn’t get the job done. And we know that if we do that, we’re not gonna win. Coach (Lee Belknap) just told us when we got into some adversity, ‘great teams find a way to pull it out.’ Then our (backup) quarterback Kyle Riesselmann stepped up after our starter (Zach Jones) got injured and said, ‘Trust in me that I’m going to do my job.’ Then our linebacker Brody King said ‘I’m going to lead this team.’ When you have that happening, you’re going to win games.”
SCBuzz: Fayette County News Sports Editor Chris Dunn recently tweeted that people outside of Peachtree City who are unfamiliar with your talents should probably keep an eye on you. How does that make you feel?
ECTOR: “It feels great to hear that. I like to get my recognition, and all. I like it, but I like to stay humble. The one thing I hate about it is, like, when last year someone would say that I won the game for the team. No. I didn’t tech win it. The team won a game. People say, ‘best player on the team’ and all this and that, but I hate that. My team as a whole wins the game. We win games because everybody did what they had to do to win. Everybody played their role. Nobody thought more about themselves than the team. That’s why we win. It’s not just about me or any one player.”
SCBuzz: How good can Bradley Ector be this season? How good can McIntosh Football be?
ECTOR: “For me personally, I think I’m going to rush for over 1,000 yards and I want to have a lot of receiving yards. When they do pass me the ball from the backfield, I’d like to try to gain over 500 catching yards. Really, as for our team, I want to see us go all the way be honest with you. I mean I think it can be done. Right now we’re coming at people with a full head of steam for the rest of these games.
I think our goals should be to win region, go to the playoffs and then maybe try to get past the second round which is what the best McIntosh team in history did when they got to the second round against Warner Robins. So, yeah. If I can rush for 1,000 yards or so and we can get to the second or third round or further, that would just cap the season off nice for me.”