Being selected to play in the 50th IFCA North-South All-Star Game is a sports highlight Jackson Daugherty doesn’t take lightly.
A cornerback for the South squad, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound former Greenwood Community High School standout understands he’s part of history no matter how many tackles or pass deflections he makes.
“I’m just ready for the whole experience and to take it all in,” said Daugherty, whose nine interceptions led the state during the 2015 season.
“I think it will be fun.”
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Part of the festivities include having living legends serve as head coach.
Dick Dullaghan, owner of 312 career victories and eight state championships from stops at Chatard, Carmel and Ben Davis before retiring after the 2003 season, will coach the South All-Stars.
Having Daugherty on his 46-player roster gives Dullaghan a certain amount of flexibility.
While at Greenwood, Daugherty excelled offensively, defensively and in special teams.
Slated to play defense for the South, Daugherty leaves Aug. 13 for Hanover College to begin working with the Panthers’ offense. His senior season with the Woodmen resulted in 34 pass receptions for 841 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Daugherty’s sure hands and gridiron instincts served him well as a punt returner. He completed his final season at Greenwood with 15 runbacks for 64 yards.
Jogs to and from the sideline were infrequent for Daugherty during the Woodmen’s 7-5 season.
He rarely left the field.
“I think Jackson’s one of the best all-around players who has come through Greenwood in a long time,” 11th-year Woodmen coach Mike Campbell said. “He developed a really good understanding of the game.
“But more than anything else, his strength was his level of conditioning. He obviously was taking care of his body even in the offseason.”
Strange as it may sound, being a three-year starter in left field for Greenwood’s baseball program also benefited him.
Daugherty knows how to accurately judge the flight of well-hit baseballs as well as well-thrown footballs while they are in midair.
Being a starting cornerback sharpens his instincts, as well.
“The really good receivers study how the defensive backs play, so I don’t think playing cornerback in the All-Star game will hurt him. The week of practice and getting to play in the All-Star Game before he goes to Hanover will be a huge advantage for him,” Campbell said.
Members of the North and South teams report to the University of Indianapolis on July 10 to begin practices. The game is July 15 at North Central High School in Indianapolis.
Daugherty doesn’t believe playing defense for one final week will delay his progress as a receiver once at Hanover College.
“I honestly don’t think it will. I’m just trying to stay in shape for once I get there,” said Daugherty, who knows the five-night stay at the Univeristy of Indianapolis is good training for his four seasons at Hanover College.
“It’s close enough to home that if I need something I can come back. It’s far enough away for me to be on my own and experience college.”
Daugherty joins kicker Griffin Oakes (2013), defensive tackle Lee Campbell (2012) and offensive lineman Trevor Lasiter (2102) as recent former Woodmen chosen to play in the North-South Game. Linebacker A.J. Edds took part back in 2006.
THE DAUGHERTY FILE
Name: Jackson Daugherty
Family: Parents, David Daugherty and Jennifer Meier; sister, Isabella, 16
Favorite TV show: “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite movie: “Rocky IV”
Favorite athlete: Troy Polamalu
Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers
IF YOU GO
What: IFCA All-Star Football Classic
When: 7 p.m. July 15
Where: North Central High School
Series: South leads 27-22