Justin Pressley is no Boy Scout. But when it comes to football, he certainly lives by the group’s motto.
The Walnut Grove defensive lineman is a regular on the website Hudl, where he studies game film to critique his own performance and scout opponents.
But he’s most dedicated to his work in the weight room. Earlier this year, he became the first member of the football team to join the 1,000-pound club, an honor earned when your combined max in bench press, squats, and power clean totals 1,000 pounds or more.
So when he lines up at defensive end on Friday nights, opposing tackles and tight ends should know they are facing a defender who is both physically and mentally prepared to give them a very long night.
Pressley spent his freshman year on the junior varsity before stepping up to varsity as a sophomore. But it wasn’t until last year that he developed into an impact player and key cog of the defense
“Something clicked and he really took charge during the spring of his sophomore year,” said Walnut Grove head coach Robert Andrews. “He’s got the tool set. He’s solid, explosive, good takeoff, and a real nose for the football.”
At 6-foot, 220 pounds, he’s not overwhelming offensive linemen with his size. But he makes up for that with game savvy.
“I think my strength is being able to read certain plays and formations,” Pressley said.
And that goes back to his meticulous preparation.
Pressley, along with fellow end Kyle Smith, will provide the Warriors with a formidable defensive front this season. Roberts expects them to make things very uncomfortable for opposing quarterbacks.
Smith was second in the county in sacks last fall. If Pressley can achieve his goal of 10 quarterback takedowns this fall, he’ll not only surpass his teammate but likely be tops in Walton.
“With a year under his belt, and his experience under the Friday night lights, he should be making a lot of plays for us this year.” Andrews said.