Sterling a hands-on leader for Aliceville
Wed. July 04, 2012 at 11:29 p.m. | By Zackary Al-Khateeb
In high school football, it isn’t uncommon for players to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Aliceville’s Gerald Sterling is one of those players.
Sterling, who plays strong-side defensive end and tight end for Aliceville, has been an important factor for his team on both sides of the ball, wreaking havoc from his defensive end spot and spending the rest of his time paving the way for the running game at tight end. Sterling even catches a pass or two to keep defenses honest.
Of course, Sterling enjoys playing both sides of the ball and helping his team in whatever way he can, but he said he does have his preferences on which is his favorite position.
"Strong-side defensive end," Sterling, ranked No. 38 in The Tuscaloosa News’ Alabama’s Most Wanted, said. "Because I get to go put my hands on people, drive them to the ground, and go get a sack."
And that’s exactly what Sterling has done, registering 15 of them last season. It’s just one of the many ways he affects a game. Another way he stops opposing offenses is in the running game; most of the time, offenses refuse to run anywhere near Sterling or his side of the line.
"I set the tone for my defense," Sterling said. "Nine times out of 10, no team’s going to come my way, when they watch film. I just go out and dominate, give them 110 percent."
At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, Sterling is a part of every opposing offensive coordinator’s game plan. Coordinators aren’t the only one giving him attention, either. For his performance on the line, Sterling said he has received offers from Florida State, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, among others.
Still, Sterling hasn’t let all the attention go to his head. He said he’s continuing to work hard on improving his explosion off the ball and the use of his hands, not just at defensive end, but tight end as well.
Off the field, Sterling said he tries to be a good leader for his teammates, organizing pickup games to maintain camaraderie. On the field, Sterling said he has no issue being the leader for his team.
"(My coaches) love the way I work," Sterling said. "They like how I get on the players about doing their best too, and making sure everyone’s on their assignment. I’d say I’m a team player. And I go all the way out, all the time."