As the Jacksonville Christian quarterback points out, everyone wants to win, but his team has struggled this season while being physically overmatched in nearly every game.
But that hasn’t slowed Brackett.
A second-year starter, he has completed 71 of 139 passes for 1,235 yards and 10 touchdowns. In addition, he has rushed for 1,052 on 104 carries, adding 13 scores.
“We expected him to do really well. I’m not surprised he’s done this well,” JCA coach Tommy Miller said. “I didn’t want him to get burnt out early so we brought him in slowly, and he got better as a sophomore and better as a junior. We believe he’s going to continue to progress.”
While Brackett seems to do as he wants with the ball in his hands, the junior said he most enjoys simply being on the field with his friends, which easily makes up for JCA’s 1-6 record this season.
“In the fall and during summer workouts, all the work we put in to get ready for the season, it’s just fun,” Brackett said. “Even though we haven’t had too good of a season, it’s just been fun being out there with the guys.”
It’s one of Brackett’s friends, wide receiver Kris Armprester, who the quarterback has looked to the most.
In JCA’s loss to Class 1A, Region 7 leader Valley Head last week, the duo connected seven times for 183 yards and a touchdown. Brackett threw for 235 yards and added 74 yards on the ground and a score.
“I see him all day, every day, and we’re really close,” Brackett said. “I have confidence that if I throw it anywhere he’ll catch the ball.”
In a way, it was just another week for Brackett. That type of play has also grabbed attention from other coaches, including Donoho’s Shannon Felder. Brackett threw for 229 yards and rushed for 116 yards against the Falcons earlier this year.
“He’s certainly something. He’s a good athlete and knows what to do with the ball,” Felder said. “You just have to try to contain him. I know that if we played them again we’d prepare differently. You have to account for him in every situation.”
Despite Brackett’s abilities, JCA’s size — of the school and players — puts the Thunder at a disadvantage nearly every week. The disadvantages have JCA on a six-game losing streak, but Miller said he hasn’t seen a single player with his head down.
“We’ve played until the end every game,” he said. “As far as getting down, I haven’t seen it. We realize there’s another day and we look to the next day and not back.”
Looking forward has created some excitement in the JCA locker room with three winnable games concluding the season.
With Coosa Christian (1-6), Alabama School for the Deaf (2-3) and Shades Mountain Christian (1-5) remaining on the schedule, the Thunder will face some teams that appear to be good matchups.
With Brackett being the team’s leader on and off the field, he said he’s most looking forward to “just getting some wins” over the next three weeks.
“I believe we can get wins, and I believe we will get some wins,” he said. “We’re coming off probably the toughest team we’ve played this season to face our rivals, who we beat last year. I’m just looking forward to a hard week of practice and preparation.”
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star