East Coweta's Boston recommits to football for senior year
by Doug Gorman
East Coweta senior Markell Boston knew he needed some sort of a wake-up call heading into his final year of high school football.
It started with a renewed commitment to the weight room during the offseason.
'I am not going to lie,' he said. 'I was skipping it. Now, I am sort of settling in and getting in some good workouts. It's helped' Boston also decided he needed a fresh start this season, so after three years in the Indians' program, he changed his jersey number.
The Indians' multi-faceted senior, whose biggest varsity highlight prior to this year was a game-winning touchdown catch as a sophomore to beat Newnan, now dons No .4 on Friday nights.
It used to belong to another talented East Coweta wide receiver, Nigel Gay, who graduated last year after making 24 receptions.
Boston is excited about wearing his friend's former number.
'We have known each other for a long time,' he said. 'He is a good friend of mine, but I used to also wear the number too (back in middle school), so I was excited to have a chance to wear it again.
For Boston, the jersey change also shows something else.
'It's about change,' he said. 'It's about recommitting myself.'
East Coweta head coach Clint Wade wasn't even aware that Boston switched numbers.
'I don't pay attention to all that,'' he said.
Jersey change or not, Wade can't help but notice some of the big plays his senior has made so far this year.
'He is really played well,' Wade said. 'I am really proud of him.'
Through four games, Boston has seldom left the field for Indians, playing a vital role on offense, defense and special teams.
Offensively, Boston has shown his knack for getting open the past two seasons.
A year ago, he finished as the team's leading receiver, grabbing 29 catches and a touchdown.
He already has three catches for touchdowns this season.
'I love playing on offense, but I make plays on defense too, so it is either or with me,' he said when it comes to which side of the ball he prefers.
Boston is trying to impress college recruiters with his work ethic, both on and off the field.
'I am working hard in the classroom, trying to make sure I am taking care of that too' he said.
Despite Boston's fast start, the Indians are looking for a spark this week after starting the season with a 1-3 record.
The Indians have a chance Friday when they entertain Central High School from Phenix City, Ala.
Central comes into the game with a 2-2 record.
Last week, East Coweta appeared primed for a major upset when it had No. 4-ranked Lovejoy against the ropes on the road before losing the game 35-27 when the Wildcats scored the go-ahead touchdown with under a minute to go.
It wasn't because of Boston's lack of effort. The senior caught two touchdowns from quarterback Bryce Gemmel and also intercepted a pass and returned it for a third score against the Wildcats.
Boston, who now has a team-high four touchdowns for East Coweta, would trade all of those stats for a chance to pull the upset.
'We just have to get back in the groove,' he said. 'We obviously, played a good game, we just have to stick with it and learn to finish off teams.'
Boston knows East Coweta could easily have a winnig record. Although it lost to twotime defending Sandy Creek 54-35, its other two defeats have been by a combined eight points as in addition to Lovejoy, it also lost on the road to Archer (21-17), by four points.
'We aren't playing that bad,' he said. 'We just have to keep working to get things turned around.'
Boston is confident it starts Friday night as the team closes out its non-region schedule against the team from Alabama. Staying motivated won't be a problem for Boston and his teammates.
They haven't forgotten last year's 33-31 loss to Central when it was the Indians turn to cross the state line.
East Coweta led almost all the way, losing in the final two minutes of the game., 'We haven't forgotten that,' Boston said. 'We really feel like we should have won.'
After Friday night's game, East Coweta enters Region 3-AAAAAA play in what should be a tight race for playoff berths with five other teams, including rival Newnan, for four playoff spots.
'I think we match up well with the other teams,' he said. 'There might not be too many other teams expecting much from us, but I would like to think we are the team to beat.'
After an open date next week, East Coweta begins Region 3-AAAAA play against Westlake at home to start their quest for a 17th-straight trip to the postseason.