J.T. Turner remaining positive with leadership, play despite Montgomery's rough start

LaMar Gafford
Alexandria Town Talk

Montgomery senior athlete J.T. Turner can do almost everything on the football field.

If only Tigers coach Brian Williams could clone the senior.

Montgomery is off to a rough start at 1-3, but Turner is doing his best to be a team leader and offer encouragement.

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“It’s definitely been rough, but I’ve been trying to be that big leader and lead these guys through it because I was in their shoes once and I know what it feels like. I’m just trying to lead by example,” Turner said.

Montgomery senior J.T. Turner

While two-way players are common in Class 1A football, Turner lines up all over the field for the Tigers except for the trenches on the offensive or defensive lines.

As a result, Turner sits at 934 all-purpose yards, 13 touchdowns and 15 tackles through three non-forfeited games.

“When you sit there and watching as things transpire, you think you’re going to lose yardage and you put your head down,” Williams said. “When you pick it up, he’s running towards the end zone. He’s just a playmaker. He does things that maybe make us look good, but it’s not things that we taught him. He’s just one of those athletes that’s tremendously talented.”

In a 48-42 loss to River Oaks in Week 4, Turner accounted for 398 yards and six touchdowns and had 11 tackles. Even more impressive was him filling in for an injured Conner Ferrier at quarterback in the second quarter and completing 2 of 4 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

With Ferrier out for the season, Turner will get more looks at quarterback, but whatever to help his team, he is willing to do.

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“I feel like I can do everything and you can’t put me one position,” Turner said. “I’m very versatile. I can do it all. You can’t label me a receiver, running back or linebacker. Whatever coach needs me to play, that’s what I’ll play. Whatever I need to do to make the team better, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Montgomery's Jonterrius Turner (32) breaks loose for a big gain against Northwood Thursday.

After playing sparingly as a seventh-grader in 2017, Turner made his leap to one of the Tigers’ stars the following year when he made the All-Cenla team as a return specialist.

Since then, he has reached 1,000 all-purpose yards each season – doing most of his damage as a receiver with 3,147 receiving yards for his career.

“I couldn’t go downhill (after my seventh-grade year),” Turner said. “I could only go up. If I wanted to be a good athlete and a good leader for the guys, I needed to go up. I couldn’t take any steps back, I needed to work.”

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“Without him, we wouldn’t be the same team,” Montgomery senior Logan Marcotte said. “Even on days without him, it’s just not the same. He brings life to this team.”

Montgomery receiver J.T. Turner (1) fights for yards during the Cenla Jamboree last season.

The Tigers play at Bossier on Friday this week, then open District 3-1A play with LaSalle. Turner is still confident that the season can be salvaged.

“We just have to come together,” Turner said. “We’ve really just been beating ourselves. Once we stop doing that and putting bits and pieces together, I feel like we’ll be all right.”