I spoke with Somerset wide receiver Storm Wilson last week about the Briar Jumpers regular season winning streak, their beefed up schedule and how Somerset got the nickname, Briar Jumpers.
Check out the interview below:
1. Somerset has not lost a regular season game now since the 2008 season. Is it hard to live up to those expectations, or is that something you guys even worry about?
Storm Wilson: I mean it's definitely going to be there in the back of our minds, but I think when we start playing, that won't matter and we'll get down to business.
2. For the last two seasons, you have been one of the better wide receivers in the WYMT Coverage area. What are you doing in the off season to prepare for the upcoming season?
Storm Wilson: Honestly it's been difficult finding a lot of time. I've just been doing to usual running and lifting that I've needed and I've started throwing with the quarterbacks getting used to them.
3. For the last two seasons of your high school career you have had the luxury of having Erik Manning at quarterback for the Briar Jumpers. What adjustments will you have to make this season with another player taking the snaps?
Storm Wilson: Well Erik was a great quarterback and it really wasn't all that hard to go out there and get the ball the last few years. But regardless, I believe that whoever is going to take his place this year will do a great job. It's just going to take a little getting used to.
4. For the past couple of seasons, people have said you guys have had a easy schedule. 14-1 two seasons ago, and last year you guys finished 13-1. This year you guys drop one class to 2A but you play class powers Hazard, Lexington Christian, Pulaski County and Whitley County this season. How do you think this team will stack up?
Storm Wilson: The last couple season's schedules have been a little on the easy side, but in my opinion I think a harder schedule this year is only going to help us in the long run. The blowouts and taking the starters out in the first half got old real quick, and I really wish I could have gotten to play some better competition, so I think this new schedule is going to be good for us.
5. Okay for all those out there wondering how Somerset got their nickname, (if you know the story) would you please explain where it came from?
Storm Wilson: Well I don't know the exact story but I think it had something to do with one of the older football teams. I heard they were playing a big name school and then we came in there running around everywhere and they used the metaphor of "jumping through their Briar Patch", and from then on it just stuck.
(Here is the story: The Briar Jumper nickname came about in 1916 when Somerset defeated heavily favored Louisville Boys High School 51-6 in Louisville. One of the Louisville sportswriters, Johnny Head, used the story of Uncle Remus to describe the agility the Somerset ball carriers displayed in evading the Louisville player's tackles saying the running backs were jumping through their "Briar Patch". He christened the Somerset team Briar Jumpers and the nickname stuck. Their field is nicknamed The Briar Patch. )
6. This team has another year with Robbie Lucas under its belt. How has that gone? Obviously, you guys are winning. But talk about his coaching philosophy.
Storm Wilson: Well obviously as a team we love the winning aspect that he's brought but that's definitely not the main reason that we're very lucky to have him. Honestly, he is one of the best men you could possibly find. I've never been able to talk to a coach like I have with him about anything at all, and as far as the other players, I know that they respect him just as much as I do. It's been great having him as my coach.
7. How has winning improved this program? Somerset has always been a winning program, but two undefeated regular seasons in a row has to give you guys a different kind of swagger. What is it like these day?
Storm Wilson: There definitely is that feeling of superiority around the school since football took off and it's always on the students minds. But I really don't think with the players that we have, that we're getting cocky or big-headed. We just know that every game we come out there, like the past two years we're going to have to bring it.