Southside’s Johnson hopes to coach one day

Published 10:12 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Southside High School linebacker Kevin Johnson fell in love with football at a young age and he has played ever since. This resulted in football becoming a normal part of the routine in his every day life.

When Johnson was really young, he used to grow bored watching his brother play football in the yard with friends. He wasn’t interested at all.

Instead, Johnson’s infatuation with the game started when he began watching football on television with his dad. From there, he knew he wanted to play and he has, every year since he was 5-years-old.

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Although he may not play football in college — although he would like to if given the opportunity — he wants to keep the game in his life. He would love to coach one day.

“The reason I play football, I love the game. The biggest thing that drives me to keep playing is I want to come back one day and become a high school football coach,” Johnson said.

As one of Southside’s leaders, Johnson tries to show others the correct way to do things by doing them correct himself.

“I’m not a talkative guy. The best thing for me, I believe in leading by action,” Johnson said. “I go out there and do what I have to do and it motivates my teammates to want to be better than me and to help out and contribute to the team as much as I am.”

Johnson said some people like to be vocal leaders, but he isn’t one of them.

“I like to lead by example,” Johnson said. “I believe if you are just talking about it and you aren’t doing, that doesn’t make any sense.”

Over the last decade, Johnson has played just about every position on the football field, but this season he will start at linebacker for Southside. He will also play guard on an offense that relies heavily on quick lineman to pull and open up holes. As a linebacker, Johnson tries to model his game around Von Miller and Demarcus Ware — two of the best at the position in the NFL.

“I watch a lot of their highlights and their workouts to see what they are doing,” Johnson said. “I think they are the greatest at their position as of today.”

As far as Southside’s upcoming football season is concerned, Johnson is hoping the Panthers can reach the postseason after an offseason full of hard work.

“I’m looking to make it to the playoffs, winning our region,” Johnson said. “Last year we went 2-8 and I’m not looking forward to that again.”

Johnson said he can see the difference in how the team has worked this offseason.

“Players come to the summer workouts and training camp a lot more than they did last year,” Johnson said. “When we are in the weight room, everyone is going hard.”

Southside’s jamboree game is scheduled for Aug. 22 vs. A. L. Johnson.

The Panthers open the season on Aug. 30 against Selma.