Eleven-year-old Demias Jimerson of Malvern, Arkansas, is good at football – really good. So good, in fact, that principal Terri Bryant says he’ll “score almost every time he touches the ball.”
Because he’s so good, the school decided to put the brakes on him, invoking what Malvern calls the “Madre Hill” rule, named after Razorback Madre Hill, the running back who formerly held the all-time season rushing record for Arkansas high schools and for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Hill, like Jimerson, is a native of Malvern.
Fox 16 reports there are a number of similarities between Hill and Jimerson
“If you were looking at them you would say they were very much similar,” said Darryl Baker, who coached Hill and now referees Jimerson’s games. “I mean they both run really fast, good kids, run with the same style.”
Now, Jimerson is not allowed to score more than three touchdowns, provided his team has at least a 14-point lead.
Principal Bryant says she’s not punishing Jimerson – she just wants to give other players a chance to develop as players.
Tina Korbe of Hot Air writes:
It’s easy to see the temptation she faces. It’s only natural that the other kids become discouraged when they find they can’t quite compete with Jimerson. But I also know what my dad would say (sheesh, quotin’ him two posts in a row — he’s gonna get cocky!): If you want to be the best, you have to compete with the best. He’d pump my head so full of confidence — and encourage me to practice and push myself so relentlessly — that I’d tackle Jimerson or pass out trying to catch him. (Not healthy, you say? Maybe you’re right. I know burn-out is a real phenomenon — but I also think there’s something to it.)
Korbe adds that making the other children run with Jimerson helps “develop the other players.”
“Maybe they’re not immediately able to discern the ways they’ve improved. But, for every time a kid comes only oh-so-close to tackling Jimerson, he’s going to tackle some other less-speedy quarterback with greater ease,” she adds.
The rule, however, only affects fifth and sixth graders. Next year, Jimerson moves into the seventh grade and the rule will not apply to him.
Jimerson, showing true sportsmanship, took it all in stride.
“I got, kinda got shocked because I didn’t know that was gonna happen, but it did,” he said.
“I’m ok with it,” he added.
But next year, he intends to win.
“I’m gonna run hard and bring our team to victory,” Jimerson said, adding “but God always comes first, before anything, and grades second.”
Fox adds: “God, grades, then touchdowns — Madre Hill Rule or not.”
Hats off to the parents of this young man, and as Korbe notes, “Here’s hoping he follows in Madre Hill’s footsteps all the way to the University of Arkansas!”
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