James Tillman of the MVC Football team. (Photo by David Roberts)
Story by Janelle Garcia
The preparation and work never stops for James Tillman, Missouri Valley College running back for the football team, who is a junior from Kansas City.
“Being a running back is kind of strenuous. It’s a lot of pressure on your knees,” Tillman said. Tillman’s most important focus in the off-season pertains to the preparation of strengthening his legs by doing a lot of squats, hamstring exercises, and quad exercises. “As a running back you have to be fast. It’s a lot of running,” Tillman said.
Tillman’s season practice involves working with the running back coach, doing drills to help get him warmed and prepped for practice. Once finished with drills, he and the team come together as an offense and go over plays that will be run in the game. “Throughout the week at practice, we perfect those plays, and go over them till we get it right,” Tillman said. To stay strong and in shape throughout the season, early morning weights is mandatory on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. for the MVC football team. “I benefit from morning weights. It helps me keep my legs in shape and strong during season,” Tillman said.
Tillman has played the running back position since he was in eighth grade. His goal every game is to get 100 yards in two touchdowns. His team goal is to win conference and a national championship ring. Tillman’s total rushing yards for this 2013 season is 384, with 84 carries. Tillman averages 4.6 yards a play. He has scored eight touchdowns in nine games.
MVC football will play their last regular season game against Avila University in Kansas City at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 16.
James Tillman celebrates touchdown with freshman Edivaldo Fontes. (Photo by David Roberts)