FULSHEAR SENIOR JAX MEDICA IS ONE OF THE MORE UNDERRATED AND OVERLOOKED RECEIVERS IN THE GREATER HOUSTON AREA.
His awe-inspiring catch radius, strength and soft hands make for an impressive playmaking talent. And he didn’t even play offense until the seventh grade.
“That’s when they tried me at receiver,” Medica said as he reflected. “I’d always played safety.”
It’s then that Medica set in motion the work ethic and discipline that define him to this day.
Medica’s father would toss bricks at him from 10 feet away. Medica would catch them. It’s a drill Jerry Rice used to do to work on “squeezing” of the hands.
Medica also threw footballs off the roof of his house.
“It’d bounce back to you, and you wouldn’t know where it’d go, so you’d have to track it,” Medica said.
He also made sure to catch 150 balls every day. Every...Day.
However, it’s not individual success that inspires Medica. Though he had a remarkable junior year last season, with 44 catches, 664 yards and four touchdowns while playing the final three games of the season with a sprained MCL and ACL, he is most proud of helping the Chargers to the playoffs for the first time in five years as a varsity program.
“It’s being able to win as many games as we can as a team and doing everything I can possibly do to help us win,” Medica said. “If that’s me playing defense or offense… whatever the team needs me to do. At the end of the day, that’s what matters first for me.”
Medica has good size at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. He is terrific around the ball, with admirable athleticism and ball instincts. He is tough, selfish and overwhelming when the ball is in the air.
Getting Mossed? Hapless defensive backs know about Getting Jaxed.
But Medica hears the doubters. He hears the noise that he may not be fast enough. Maybe still not quite big enough. And what, or where, is Fulshear?
It all pushes him.
“People saying I can’t do this or I can’t do that, it’s motivation,” Medica said. “‘Like (Fulshear) Coach (Nick) Codutti says, I just try and control what I can control. I can’t control what someone may think about me or what they don’t like about my film. At the end of the day, I’m just going to keep producing. At some point, you can’t just keep denying stats and film.”
Medica is a throwback receiver — physical, gritty, tough, no-nonsense — as fond of blocking as he is scoring a touchdown.
How many kids today would play on a sprained ACL and MCL to help their team make a playoff run? That’s how he wants to be remembered.
“I want people to see a receiver that plays angry,” Medica said. “I pride myself on being physical. But I really love being under those lights. Adrenaline starts going and you just trust your training.
“At the end of the day, I’ve caught that ball 800 times or whatever. I’m not worried about dropping it. I can see myself catching it before it actually happens. The crowd is loud, the moment slows down, I see it spinning toward me.”
And then Jax Medica makes the play that he has worked so hard for.
UPON THE ARRIVAL OF JASON GLENN AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS AND FINE ARTS, THE INTEGRATION OF BRABHAM AND LYNN LUCAS MIDDLE SCHOOLS INTO THE WILLIS HIGH SCHOOL CULTURE BEGAN IMMEDIATELY.
“We want our middle school students and coaches to feel like they are already at Willis High School,” he said. “It’s a vertical integration that the most successful districts in Texas implement.”
It will reflect in the uniforms this season as the “Big W and the State of Texas” will be prominent and the middle school name will be written underneath.
“It’s our brand,” he said. “We wanted people to know that, this is Willis,” he said. “That’s how you build a community. We want to have a true family feel and these are the things it’s going to take. It’s not about one school or the other, it’s about Willis. We will all be eating at the same, big table.”
High school coaching athletic schedules also had to be tweaked to allow for the most important part of the integration.
"This will allow our high school coaches to go observe at the middle schools,” Glenn said. “The students need to see the faces of their future high school coaches and the coaches need to be able to coach up the middle school coaches. It goes back to alignment.”
New football head coach Trent Miller is also excited about the program.
“We are looking forward to mentoring the high school coaches,” Miller said. “Just bringing them more into the fold, visiting them on campus to help with the athletes and building relationships with them is a huge win for everyone.”
The vertical integration also reaches the elementary schools with its “Rising ‘Kats” program, where students from Kindergarten to 6th grade will run with the Wildkats at home games.
This is how you build a community. In the words of Jason Glenn, “Let’s do this.”
VYPE traveled down to Bridge City prior to the start of the cross country season and caught up with some of the Cardinals' best runners.
Here is our Q&A with Victor Hernandez.
VYPE: You play a lot of sports; how do you manage that?
HERNANDEZ: For most of the sports, I just figure out times with the coaches and talk with them. For football and cross country, I just talk to Coach McGuire. We just figure out when I can do cross country and then come kick for football at whatever time. Just figuring out times that work best for him and me is key.
VYPE: So, what all sports do you play?
HERNANDEZ: In the fall, I’m the varsity kicker for football, varsity runner for cross country and I do select soccer for a league over in Beaumont. In the spring, I am the captain of the Bridge City soccer team and run track.
VYPE: When you watch soccer, who do you like to watch?
HERNANDEZ: Right now, it is Messi. Before, I liked watching highlights of Pele, the world’s best soccer player. For the school soccer team, I have the same number as both – 10. I love watching Messi, he’s the perfect example of a perfect left-footer. He can also make a play out of nowhere.
VYPE: What are your goals for cross country?
HERNANDEZ: Time wise, I’m hoping to get into the 17-minute 5K, and then Regionals-wise I hope to make it again. I made it my freshman and sophomore year and hope to make it my junior year. State is still a little far off, but I’m going to work for it.
VYPE: What are your interests outside of sports?
HERNANDEZ: I love learning about space and biology. I hope to do either one of those in college if sports doesn’t work out.
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