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Reese looks to go out on top

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Roswell’s Jasia Reese (2) runs the ball against Los Lunas Sept. 13 at the Wool Bowl. (David Rocha File Photo)

There may have been bigger and faster athletes that have graced the football fields for Roswell, but few, if any, have combined the elusiveness, speed, quickness and home run hitting ability that Jasia Reese has this season. Reese has added 20 pounds of solid muscle this offseason and has not lost any of his speed. If Reese played in the metro of Albuquerque — there would be many, including Journal reporter James Yodich touting him for Player of the Year.

Reese’s value to the Roswell team is he can beat other teams from anywhere on the field; from special teams to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Reese is most dangerous when he is lined up in the “Starburst” on kickoff return. Where he is most dangerous is letting the punt bounce slowly to him with tacklers barreling down on him, and before a tackler can get to him, he will pick up the ball, skip to his left or right and make another defender miss, and pick up a block and be down the sidelines for a score.

“We’re not kicking it to Reese this game,” Los Lunas coach Jeremy Maupin said.

Reese proved his value when Roswell had an injury against Artesia, and Coyotes’ coach Jeff Lynn didn’t play games, he lined Reese up in the backfield and quarterback Dominic Nava just handed the ball off to him as Reese ran time off the clock and scored a touchdown to close out a 48-28 win.

Jasia is just a special player,” Roswell coach Jeff Lynn said after that game.

Reese can line up as a wide receiver and run and go route and outjump a defender to score as he has done many times this season. One of Roswell’s favorite plays is to throw the ball on line at the line of scrimmage to Reese and let him go one on one with a defender. Often Reese makes the first guy miss and zig-zags his way for a 50-yard touchdown, as he has done earlier this season.

Reese has put in the effort this season to see great improvement in the way he plays football. Preparing for another state competition this Saturday, Jasia says, “I’m not as out there as I used to be. I’m not much of a show boy. I’ve humbled down.”

Head coach Jeff Lynn is consistently telling his team to stay humble and to respect the opposing team, and this has reflected back onto all of his players. Jasia is finishing up his senior year after playing football for the Coyotes for four years.

He has also played basketball and been all-state in track as a sophomore. Jasia plays running back, receiver and corner, and he has had many years of experience, playing football since he was 7 years old. He plans to continue playing football if he goes to college.

In the heat of the moment when the game gets difficult and the pressure is on, Jasia says, “I don’t have worries and I trust my coach. I trust that he’s not setting us up for failure.”

He enjoys the physical contact of the sport and it is one of his favorite parts about competing. His goal is to be the best running back in the state; the best in his position.

“I just come to practice every day and I work. I just want to win the state championship,” Jasia said.

No matter what happens this Saturday, he says that his team will always be boys, and that their bonds have only grown stronger through the season. Throughout the season, the thing Reese is most proud of is the Coyotes’ undefeated season.

“We are most definitely prepared for the game this Saturday,” Jasia said. “I feel like we have a good game plan and I trust my coach.”

Reese and the Coyotes go for their 18th straight win and second consecutive championship today at 2 p.m. in Los Lunas.