A few months faraway from completed enterprise, Jaxon Diamond mentioned he’s targeted on one thing that didn’t get executed within the 2020-21 college 12 months.
The Science Hill senior quarterback mentioned he needs the soccer group to chase the identical desires the baseball squad captured and became a gold ball.
“We mainly have a group that has a bunch of unfinished enterprise from final soccer season,” mentioned Diamond, who performed third base for the Hilltoppers’ Class AAA state champion baseball group in Could. “We had a bounce-back 7-3 report, however our first playoff sport was canceled due to COVID. Our seniors are hungry for a greater season. Our mindset is concentrated on unfinished enterprise.”
SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS
When the Hilltoppers captured the baseball title with a powerful state match in Murfreesboro, it produced two advantages for different sports activities.
Instantly, Diamond, Cole Torbett, Jack Torbett, Spencer Powell and Landon Smelser are among the many baseball gamers who will likely be a part of the soccer combine.
“The mindset for baseball was to destroy all the pieces in our path, and that would be the mindset for soccer,” Diamond mentioned.
And there was an oblique profit as effectively.
“It boosted confidence for the entire athletic program as a result of certainly one of our groups received the state,” Diamond mentioned. “It makes (the soccer group) need to win it extra.”
A BETTER START
In the summertime of 2020, Diamond was making an attempt to study the intricacies of enjoying quarterback. He didn’t have significant varsity expertise and the preseason was truncated due to COVID.
And, as Hilltoppers’ head soccer coach Stacy Carter identified, he didn’t even have the varsity expertise of a baseball season.
“Baseball expertise might help youngsters put together for competing on the varsity degree in soccer,” Carter mentioned.
Nonetheless, Diamond was capable of put collectively eye-opening numbers with 2,029 yards passing to associate with 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions — totals compiled in simply 9 video games as a result of there was one forfeit on Science Hill’s schedule.
Issues are a lot totally different heading into 2021.
“It appears like night time and day after final 12 months,” Diamond mentioned. “Every little thing is clicking. All people is aware of what to do. Issues are getting again on observe and we’ve got a bunch of men able to work.”
One of many guys who is aware of what to do is the 6-foot, 192-pound Diamond.
“I’ve received a 12 months of expertise, and I’ve tried to study from what I did effectively final 12 months,” he mentioned. “I’ve used it to construct my sport for this 12 months. I’ll hold the identical mentality of making an attempt to win the sport for my group. I need to put us in the perfect place to win.”
To try this, Diamond mentioned he should take higher care of the soccer.
“Final 12 months it was nothing to lose and all the pieces to realize,” Diamond mentioned. “I made poor selections with the soccer that I want to take again. I received a little bit excited and thought a man was open when he most likely wasn’t. The primary factor this 12 months is making higher selections and conserving the ball out of the opposite group’s fingers.
“I really feel assured in my skills. I really feel I’ve gotten stronger this offseason. I can most likely do extra with the ball if I’ve the possibility.”
One factor Diamond mentioned helps is an offensive line that returns key items.
“Final 12 months they did an ideal job of conserving me protected,” he mentioned. “These guys are motivated and I’m very assured within the entrance 5.”
Diamond mentioned certainly one of his largest supporters is Carter.
“He’s most likely the man who has believed in me probably the most,” Diamond mentioned. “He has given me the chance, given me the ball, and mentioned this will likely be your group. He advised me I’ve to guide it and he’ll information me each step of the way in which. He’s an ideal chief. He’s an ideal mentor for me to attempt to be the perfect individual I will be.”
Carter mentioned Diamond earned his belief.
“He reads the sector nice and throws the ball nearly as good as anyone we’ve had,” Carter mentioned. “He’s so correct and he has a powerful arm. He is aware of how you can play. He’s an ideal participant and we’re excessive on him.
“He has a confidence, however doesn’t rub folks the fallacious means. He’s actual likable and good with folks.”
ASK DAD, HE KNOWS
“I really feel like my largest motivator has positively been my dad,” Diamond mentioned. “He has been with me each step of the way in which. I come to him for recommendation about all the pieces, and he shoots it to me straight. He tells me if I’m doing good or dangerous, or if I would like to select it up.”
One NFL participant Diamond mentioned he admires is the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback.
“I like watching him,” Diamond mentioned. “He can achieve this many issues with the ball when he will get it in his fingers. He could make one thing out of nothing. I really feel he performs with the power degree I play with, and he’s received that perspective.”
Diamond mentioned he doesn’t know whether or not soccer or baseball will likely be part of his school days.
“Proper now I’m probably not leaning by some means,” mentioned Diamond, who carries a 3.5 GPA and scored 24 on his ACT. “I’ve a chance to play each. I’m certain by the center of my senior 12 months I’ll have a call.”
Among the many faculties taking a look at Diamond for soccer are Division III powerhouse Mt. Union, Tusculum and VMI. Baseball suitors embrace Walters State, Austin Peay and Center Tennessee State College.