The Lineville junior quarterback has been watching game tape almost since he began playing the game.
It’s the result of having a father who’s been exactly where he is.
Regis Lindsey started under center for the Aggies in the mid to late 80s. More than 20 years later, Demetrius, his progeny and protégé, will lead the Aggies (3-1, 3-0 in Class 2A, Region 5) when they host arch-rival Clay County (2-2, 1-2 in Class 3A, Region 3) in the annual Clay Bowl tonight at 7 p.m.
“For hours, we sit down and watch film,” Demetrius said. “I kind of dread it too because I know he’s going to point out every little thing I do wrong. But I know he’s just doing that to make me better and narrow down my mistakes.”
The labors of Demetrius’ hard work have been evident every Friday night this fall.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder has completed 27 of 46 passing attempts for 495 yards and 11 touchdowns and is third on the team in rushing with 161 yards on 24 carries.
“It certainly shows in his mental maturity,” Lineville coach Steve Giddens said. “You can tell that he’s taking the film home by the things he says in practice, the way he handles himself and the way he prepares his teammates. You can tell he cares about it. He wants to be a leader. It’s very important to him.”
The similarities between Demetrius’ game and that of his fathers’ have long been compared in the community.
“My coach (former Lineville coach David Easley) pulled me to the side at the Heflin game and told me (Demetrius) looks just like me out there,” Regis said.
Regis said he thinks his son has a bit of an edge on him, and that he’s probably a better passer due to running the spread instead of the old-school option offense the Aggies operated out of back in the day.
Giddens said Demetrius has made as much improvement in the past year as any player he’s coached in his 10 seasons at Lineville both on and off the field. He was “baptized by fire” as an eighth and ninth grader when he also saw time at tailback, Giddens said. It was a position, the coach hated to put such a young player in but Demetrius was the best player they had available.
“His classroom teachers are bragging on him about his work ethic, Giddens said. “I hear from teachers about how hard he’s working. This year, he’s getting it done in the classroom and on the football field. Everything’s coming together for ‘Met.”
Lineville is riding a three-game winning-streak coming into its annual clash with No. 9 Clay County, which has dropped its last two games in back-to-back weeks against top-ranked Leeds and No. 5 Handley in Class 3A play.
If the Aggies, ranked No. 8 in Class 2A can pull away with the victory, it’ll be their first victory against the Panthers since 2004.
Regis never lost to Clay County during his career.
“That’s the only thing we’ve got on them,” Regis said. “They’ve got six state championships. So, if a guy from Lineville can say that he never lost to Ashland that’s kind of like a state championship. There aren’t a lot of guys that can say they never lost to Ashland. That’s big.”
Oftentimes, teams take a more cautions approach to Week 5.
For many it’s a non-region, matchup. So there are no immediate playoff implications on the line. Some teams choose to rest their starters regardless of how close the game is while others won’t reveal too much of their playbook, opting to keep an element of surprise for opponents in the second half of the season.
There’s not a chance of that being the case, not in a game between two schools that have been getting it on since 1922.
“This game means a lot to us,” Demetrius said. “This is something that goes back way before any of us were playing. It’s very important to the community. We know that Clay County is a good team. They’re a big rival. It’s probably one of the biggest rivalries in the country.”
Win, lose or draw, Demetrius and Regis will start next week the way they start each week, watching film together.
“I tell him what he needs to try to work on in practice and point out some thing to him along the way,” Regis said. “He always listens.”
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 235-3575.