WHITE HALL — In Week 4 of last season, then-sophomore Kendrick Edgerson made his first ever start for the White Hall Bulldogs.
When the starting running back went down with an injury before the game, Edgerson was called upon to fill his role in the middle of the first half. Edgerson finished the game with eight carries for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Magnolia.
“He didn’t play the first three weeks and then I was forced to put him in there,” White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn said. “I knew he was a talented player and that night he rushed for almost 200 yards.
“He has improved steadily every week ever since then.”
“That was my official start and I wanted to do really well in the game,” Edgerson said.
Vaughn said one particular play stood out to him in that game.
“There was like 10 seconds left in the first half and we were at like the 40-yard line and I called a timeout,” Vaughn said. “The game was still pretty close at that time so I wanted to try to score.
“Following the timeout, we run the stretch play outside and he breaks the thing for about 60 yards and the touchdown.”
Edgerson said he rememebered that play as well.
“It was either about a 55 or 60-yard run that I bounced out to the sideline,” Edgerson said. “And I scored with like 10 seconds left in the first half.”
White Hall would score on its next four possessions as they defeated Magnolia 50-7. The Bulldogs finished last year 9-2, its only losses to Pulaski Academy and eventual state champion Camden Fairview.
Edgerson ran for almost 1,000 yards last fall despite not playing until Week 4.
“He has great character and he is a warrior,” Vaughn said.
Last week, Edgerson ran for 127 yards and both touchdowns in White Hall’s eight point win over conference rival Watson Chapel.
“I’m feeling amazing. I knew we had a real good chance of coming in to beat them and we pulled it off,” Edgerson said after Friday’s win in Pine Bluff.
Edgerson said he strained a muscle in his leg but he said he was treated real well before the game.
“It was sore during the game, but I wanted to win bad enough that I barely felt it,” Edgerson said.
Edgerson went to Watson Chapel in the seventh grade and then transfered to White Hall the following year. He said he still knows a lot of Chapel’s players so last week’s game was extra special for him.
“It was a real important game because they were number two in the conference,” Edgerson said. “We were just trying to move up in the conference.”
Following the win, White Hall is now in second place in the 5A South. Defending state champion Camden Fairview has a pretty big hold on first place.
Vaughn didn’t even think Edgerson would play after he suffered an injury during the game against Hot Springs Lakeside.
Despite the injury, he was still able to break for a 99-yard touchdown run near the end of the game that sealed the victory over Lakeside at home.
Vaughn said they went through the whole practice last Monday before Edgerson even complained about his injury.
“He had limped all week and as of Thursday, he could not run,” Vaughn said. “But on Friday night, you would never even had known he was hurt.”
Edgerson played all but one snap on offense and all but three snaps on defense.
“He has a big heart and he is a warrior,” Vaughn said. “That’s what makes him special more than anything else.”
Vaughn said Edgerson pulled a muscle on the side of his calf and it began to swell up last Monday.
“He could not run (last) Monday or Tuesday,” Vaughn said. “I’ve just been so proud of him.
“He’s not even practicing too hard this week. We are not making him do a whole lot.”
Despite his soreness, Edgerson was utilized in just over half of White Hall’s offensive plays.
Vaughn said he is trying to give him some time to heal before this week’s game against Hot Springs.
After Friday’s win over Chapel, Vaughn said Edgerson is a college football player. Although just a junior, Edgerson has already received interest from a few colleges.
Vaughn said he still has a ways to go though.
“He’s just a junior, so there is plenty of time but he’s got to get bigger,” Vaughn said. “He weighs 195 pounds and can lift about 215. He also needs to stay on in track and maintain his speed.
“If he wants to be a big time player, he has got to maintain those things. He knows that and he understands that.”
Edgerson currently holds a 3.0 GPA and is scheduled to take the ACT for the first time on Saturday. So far this season, Edgerson has 121 carries for 935 yards (7.73 yards per carry) with 14 touchdowns.
Despite his performance on the field and in the classroom, Vaughn said Edgerson is not a very vocal leader.
“He doesn’t say a lot,” Vaughn said. “We got a lot of seniors that take up that role and they have stepped up big time.
“You can tell when it is his turn, he will be that guy. We got some other juniors like (Daniel) Sprinkle and (Kirk) Baugh that also do a really good job for us.”
White Hall lost senior wide receiver Irvin Tisdale for the season following a broken collarbone. Vaughn said Edgerson and the rest of the Bulldogs have done a good job of “stepping up and filling that position.”
White Hall (6-1, 3-1 5A South) will face Hot Springs Friday night beginning at 7 p.m.