For the past two years, Jalil Core played with on-field abandon.
The Armwood enforcer changed the way people thought about the defensive secondary. He bolted around the field, making plays from practically anywhere.
No quarterback, runner or receiver was safe.
Core’s high-energy, turnover-inducing play helped him win numerous all-county and all-area awards.
Now he is gone.
Of the six starters who graduated from last year’s dominating defense, the biggest question for the Hawks was how to replace Core because of everything he did for them.
The answer: Zaequan Gilliespy.
Gilliespy came over from Plant, where he started in the defensive backfield the past two years.
“Zaequan is a pretty good player,” Armwood coach Evan Davis said. “The thing that stands out most is his intelligence.”
The arrival of Gilliespy is part of a family reunion. The last two seasons Gilliespy played against his brother, Armwood defensive lineman Ryan Redfield.
Now they are the same team — again.
The brothers, who live with different mothers, grew up playing for the same youth league team. They both preferred to do the hitting rather than get hit. So they both became defensive players.
The competitiveness was always there, too.
Sometimes, the brothers would continue to square off once practice ended.
Now, they can take out that aggression on opponents rather than each other.