Jalen Teague Leads BTW Receiving Corps

GTR Sports Writer

Mike Moguin for Midtown Monitor
STEPPING UP: Jalen Teague has stepped up for Booker T. Washington by replacing the injured top receiver Gentry Williams.  

With a key teammate out with an injury, senior Jalen Teague has stepped up in a leadership role for the receivers of Booker T. Washington. 
Junior Gentry Williams has been the Hornets’ top receiver in recent years and was expected to make an impact this season, but he suffered a season-ending ACL knee injury in early September. 
“I feel like it (responsibility) increased a lot because Gentry was always like the extra voice in the receiving corps besides me,” Teague said. “Other guys would go to Gentry seeking advice in everything, but now with him gone, they all come to me. I love to help my brothers and teammates, critique them on routes they need to do, how fast they need to do it and how to read a defense.”
The Hornets still have Williams around for support on the sideline. 
“He was there (Oct. 9) against Sand Springs and he is still vocal, telling us what he sees from the sidelines and what he thinks we should do. He is always a help on and off the field,” Teague said of Williams.
Teague can relate. He incurred a similar injury last year that required knee surgery and enduring an offseason of rehabilitation and recovery. 
“I tore my ACL last year in the first quarter of the last regular season game against Sand Springs. A lot of people say you never come back the same from ACL injuries. You just lose what you have before,” Teague said. “So I took that challenge to keep working and grinding during the summer, doing physical therapy three times a week. I just said to myself, I’m going to show everybody I can be better than what I was before my injury.”
It took over five months to recover, he said. Surgery came in February and he was cleared in August.
No doubt Williams carries those same thoughts as he journeys to recover. 
The competitiveness of football is what Teague likes about the game. He also loves trash talking at opposing defenders.
“A lot of defenders like to talk trash, so it’s always fun to go back at them,” Teague said. 
He believes being a receiver is the best spot to be on in football. “You can go out and make plays, show your speed, out jump somebody, there’s just a lot of pros at receiver that I love,” Teague added. 
When he’s on the field, “I’m just giving my all for my team,” Teague said. “I go out and do my best and if I mess up, I forget that play and go out and get the next one.”
Teague’s favorite receivers are Elijah Moore of Ole’ Miss and D.K. Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks. 
When BTW hosted Sand Springs in a key District 6AII-2 in September, the game was billed as the game of the week in Tulsa. 
The Hornets made it anything but, as they dismantled the Sandites, 49-0.
“Coach Brown told us to go in there and have fun,” Teague said. “We all heard the media talk and everybody said Sand Springs was going to beat us. As a team, we took that personally. We took it as a disrespect. Everybody considered us the darkhorse because we laid two eggs. We felt like this is our statement game to make that we’re still a state championship contender team.”
Those two eggs were losses to Oklahoma City Bishop McGuinness and Choctaw. What did it take to overcome the adversity? It comes back to the Hornets’ leadership. 
“All of our seniors told the underclassmen to keep their heads up. ‘It’s two losses. We can still make the playoffs and go to state, just keep your head up, we got to stick together as a team and not fall apart,’” Teague said.
“Personally, I see us holding up that gold ball at the end of the season. A lot of people don’t think we can do it, but I got the faith and courage in this team that we can get it done this year,” he added. 
Like other Hornet athletes, Teague is thrilled to have his place in the legacy of BTW athletics.
“I like it a lot,” he said. “My whole family went here, so I felt like it was a must for me to come. My dad played football and he was a middle linebacker. I’ve just been around Booker T. my whole life and I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere else. I want to be a part of this legacy and help it grow more.”
BTW (No. 5 in Class 6AII, 5-2 overall, 3-1 in district) followed up its win against Sand Springs with a road domination of Putnam City West by the same score (49-0). 
Through the remainder of October, the Hornets had games at Ponca City (Oct. 23) and at home against Muskogee (Oct. 30). They are to conclude the regular season Nov. 6 at defending 6AII state champion Bixby, which will likely be a crucial showdown.

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