Eagles’ Lindsey eyes big season | News, Sports, Jobs

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Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes
Valley Christian’s Ja’Sean Lindsey returns to the Eagles’ huddle after a play during a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage. Lindsey is going to see an expanded role in 2023.

YOUNGSTOWN — If there’s one running back continuing to become a household name in the Mahoning Valley, it’s Ja’Sean Lindsey.

The Valley Christian junior already has rushed for over 2,000 yards in his career. With some Division I interest buzzing at the college level and the Eagles coming off one of their best seasons in school history, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound back is eyeing a busy fall.

“Just go day by day and just do what God blessed me with and trying to do my best with everything I do,” Lindsey said. “It’s exciting, just looking for a touchdown with every trip I see an open hole. Getting to represent God, and just running to say my family name good, just doing my best with everything I do.

“I ain’t really focused on last year. I see our team; we’re more bought in this year. We got a young team, they’re just bought in to what the coaches see in them, doing everything to the best of their ability.”

Recording 1,010 yards last season on 103 carries, Lindsey found paydirt 12 times on the ground for an Eagles team that made it to the second round of the playoffs following a 9-0 regular season. His twin brother Ja’Juan Lindsey also plays for Valley Christian.

For coach Andy Hake and his staff, Lindsey has emerged as a role model on and off the field for the Eagles.

“I’ve coached a long time, he’s one of the better backs I’ve been around that I’ve had the experience of coaching,” Hake said. “He’s tough, he’s a good kid. He runs hard and he’s explosive and he has uncanny abilities.

“He’s a team guy. Whatever I ask him to do, he’s going to do.”

With interest from colleges in the Mid-American Conference, Lindsey is going to become a two-way player for the Eagles, this year learning the safety position. When a player has his ability and strength to wear teams down, it’s hard to keep him off the field.

“His responsibilities overall head and hands he had to pick up, but he’s a young guy, but he’s going to have to do a lot for our team for us to have the team we want to have,” Hake said. “He’s a great player. When you have great players, they have to stay out on the field. He’s working to get in shape, be good to his teammates and be a role model. That’s really what it is.

“These kids need role models, these kids need guys that are working hard, being good to them, and that’s what they need.”

Playing since he was three years old, Lindsey has recently studied the game of JK Dobbins and Saquon Barkley. Knowing he’ll be on the gridiron for both sides of the ball, Lindsey has taken his time in the weight room seriously, growing an appreciation for it.

“It’s exciting that you can help your team in both parts and not just one part, to get better recruiting and all of that. Coaches like to see that you can play both sides and help your team in both ways,” Lindsey said. “I lift every day, 1,000 push ups (a day) to make sure I stay durable and strong during the season. It’s not that tough once you get into it, you get 100 per hour, you’ll get through that easily in a day. I like working out. It clears my head a lot; it’s a good thing to do.”

“I’d like to go for more yards on my running, not go down so easily and pick up blocks better in the backfield, just work on my blocking when we’re passing. It’s hard when you have some big dudes running at you. I’m not that tall, so you have to put that block on or you’re going to get thrown on your butt, so you have to make sure you’re working hard in practice and lifting still,” he added.

At the end of the day, Hake relies on the likes of Lindsey to be a voice on the field regardless of the situation.

“When things are going well, anyone can be a leader. Ja’Sean has the ability to be a leader when things aren’t going well. That’s the mark of a real leader, when things aren’t going well, motivate others and encourage others to pick that up,” Hake said.

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