Newcomer elevating play, spirit
A relative newcomer to Fallon, Churchill County High School freshman Elijah Jackson has been on fire on the Greenwave basketball team.
Since joining the varsity team this season, Jackson has scored 237 points with 14 treys, 37 free throws, 76 rebounds and 43 assists.
Raised in Houston, Texas, Jackson started playing sports with his cousins. To win against the older kids, he said he developed a strong work ethic and worked to get better at the sports they played.
Jackson’s family moved to Hawthorne when his uncle got sick and they eventually moved to Fallon for better schools and opportunities.
As a sixth-grader in Hawthorne, he was playing on their eighth-grade team. Then he moved to Fallon during middle school and sought to join the younger Greenwave teams.
Fallon basketball coach Brad Barton has coached Jackson in several sports since he came to Fallon. Jackson and Barton have worked together in basketball as well as football and baseball. Barton said Jackson is good to coach since he can be coached hard and understands how high the expectations are.
“It’s nice to be able to coach a kid hard like that and have him respond to hard coaching,” Barton said. “He does that really, really well.”
Barton said he has known Jackson for awhile, being neighbors with his family at one time, and giving him rides to school or just hanging out together. He said it’s great to watch someone grow up into a sport and as an athlete.
“To watch him grow and develop into this kind of athlete is pretty special,” he said. “It’s been a joy working with him.”
Barton said Jackson still has some growing and maturing to do. Once he does and has a better understanding of how varsity basketball is played, the coach is confident he will become an even better athlete.
Barton said Jackson is also a great person outside sports. He said he’s a great student and respectful to his teachers while getting along with all his teammates. Jackson said everyone on the team has a good relationship and there’s no difference between the upperclassmen and younger students.
The academic challenges of a highschool athlete also haven’t been much of an issue. Jackson said school has always been fairly easy for him and his work ethic and hard work let him keep up with everything.
Barton said it was impressive that, as a freshman, Jackson came to the team and quickly entered a leadership role. He recalled Jackson’s energy fed the other players — if he was serious and focused on the game, the rest of the team responded to it; on the other hand, if he was having fun and clowning around, a common occurrence according to Barton, the team could also get that energy.
“That energy feeds to the other players,” Barton said.
This, however, can also be a negative at times. Barton said there are times where Jackson’s joking can start to impact the game. When he’s serious though, Barton said Jackson is a strong player and can bring out some of the best in the team.
“When he learns to be focused all the time, he’s gonna do great things,” he said.
Jackson also played as quarterback for the Greenwave during the fall football season. He is still undecided if he will play baseball for the Greenwave this spring, though he is thinking about it. So far, he plans to play basketball and football all four years of high school.