Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
East Limestone High's Jonathan Pinque.
Nose to nose with . . .
East Limestone High's Jonathan Pinque
East Limestone High senior Jonathan Pinque is part of an Indians unit that is working hard to live up to expectations this year.
Indians coach Jeff Pugh said his star running back/linebacker has "turned the corner" this season as a player. Like many of his seniors, Pugh said Pinque has become a leader and it has made the Class 4A No. 4 Indians a better team. Earlier this week, Pinque sat down for 10 questions with Daily Sports Writer Brooke Milam:
Question: There are a lot of high expectations for this East Limestone team. What will be the toughest challenge of the regular season?
Answer: North Jackson (on Oct. 5). Before we played Athens (in the season opener) that was the biggest game. But a lot of people say the North Jackson game is the top game because they are ranked No. 1, and we're close to being the No. 2 team. If we can get past Tanner (Sept. 27), North Jackson should be it. It's going to be a good game.
Q: What is the atmosphere like in the Indians' locker room before a big game?
A: Jumping around, on the lockers, screaming, head butting. But nothing horsing around. It's a good, intense atmosphere.
Q: East Limestone has become known for its hard-nosed defense. How does that develop in every Indian player?
A: We're all crazy. We've got crazy personalities and that fits defense. We all look for the big hit because we get a sticker if we do. (East Limestone players receive a skull sticker to place on the front of their helmet for each big hit in a game).
Q: What is the longest touchdown run you have ever had?
A: I think it was this past week — the 80-yard run (in a 41-13 region win over Priceville). I was tired afterward and Coach Pugh came over and picked me up. He gets pretty excited after any touchdown, but he really was after that one. (Pinque finished with four touchdowns against Priceville).
Q: If you could replace any NFL player on Sunday, who would it be?
A: Probably Brandon Jackson, he plays running back for the Green Bay Packers, just because I'd want to play with Brett Favre.
Q: What is one college game are you looking forward to watching this week?
A: This Saturday, probably Notre Dame and Michigan — see if Michigan can bounce back. I'm a Notre Dame fan, I like Notre Dame.
Q: With so much going on, what would you name as your top priority?
A: Well, football. I tend to mess up and put it before a lot of things, but it's just real important to me.
Q: What takes up your time besides football?
A: Work at Little Caesars. Right after I leave practice I come in as quick as I can and get some hours in. I make pizzas, I box them, I do it all. Come to Little Caesars, the best pizza in Athens. (Said with a smile).
Q: How do you think your friends would describe you off the field?
A: Off the field — loyal, a loyal friend. I've known a lot of my teammates since pee-wee football. We've definitely been through a lot together and that's what makes this team strong.
Q: People know you are a great running back. What is something people don't know about Jonathan Pinque?
A: I was born in Haiti. I was adopted when I was 21/2 years old and then moved to Fresno, Calif. Then we moved to Rosario, Mexico, when I was about 7. When I was in the sixth grade we came to Alabama. A lot of traveling, but it's been fun.
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