Spartanburg Viking Blue and Gold run deep in the family of Jay Rice.I mean the blood,at least some of it may actually be Blue and Gold.The 6’0, 193 pound Outside Linebacker/Strong Safety was recently kind enough to share his story,his thoughts and his reasons to be bigger than life in everything he does. Thank you Jay for all the work you put into this.
Ambition Over Adversity
Learn from their misfortune
Learn from their pain
Believe in something
Believe in yourself
Turn adversity into ambition
Now blossom into wealth
The Above poem can be found in The Rose That Grew from Concrete (1999) , a collection of poetry written between 1989 and 1991 by Tupac Shakur.
This time I ask you to close your ears and open your brain. You can’t have spoken word without a written word. I would never try to rewrite words of a poet..and I felt I shouldn’t Rewrite Jay’s words either.
“I was born on November 22, 1999 in Spartanburg, SC. My real name is Jerome Rice III but almost everyone knows me as Jay. I was born to Jerome Rice Jr and Shay Rice, and I have 2 sisters, Jamariah and Talee, and 1 brother, Jervaris. I feel like I was honestly born into SHS. My mom is a South Carolina Hall of fame track coach, head coach of the SHS lady Vikings track team from 1994-2008. She’s won 17 consecutive county championships, 15 consecutive region championships, and also 6 state championships. My dad played here at Spartan High and I’ve been told by many of his friends and other coaches he was a “head hunter”. He actually began playing varsity football for Spartan High as a 9th grader and became a defensive specialist as a linebacker and a defensive end. He was the defensive MVP of the 1985 North/South game, then attended Wake Forest university on a football scholarship. He has been an assistant football coach at Spartan High since 1994 winning 5 state championships. So yes they’re kinda known all around Spartanburg High School.
Other than football, you can usually find me doing something dealing with sports, like watching games, playing basketball, or even playing sports video games. My mom makes sure I live the life of a student athlete by making sure I keep my grades up and stay in the books. Outside of football I also play basketball, do track and field, and also part of national honors society, mu alpha theta, and beta club.After high school, I plan on attending college, possibly playing football, but also making sure I get my bachelor’s degree.
Before every game, you’ll see me listening to some type of hype song to get focused, whether it’s from Eminem, Lil Wayne, Lil Yatchy, to even Tupac, I’m listening to something that will hype up anyone.
Before the season, I feel like we were extremely underestimated, losing stars like Tavien Feaster, Austin Scott, Louis Rogers etc, and we knew this season was gonna be hard. We were predicted to go 4-6 and being last in our region, and probably not make the playoffs because we were going to have a “slight drop off” We took the predictions personal, and we went into the season determined to show that we were still HERE and a force to be reckoned with.
Coach Miller tells us every week, from our 6 wins to our 2 losses, “This team is special. This is a special group” and we believe him and we take every game one step at a time because we feel like we have something to prove. Every game I try to do better than I did the last game, and I feel like I continue to get better every week as a player. I feel like my best game was the 2nd game of the season against T.L Hanna. Cramps were getting the best of me throughout the game but I still managed to finish the game. This game was a moment for me to show that I’m also a force to be reckoned with, and prove that I’m not someone to be taken lightly.
For the season so far I’ve had 28 first hits, 28 assists, 2 sacks, 2 quarterback pressures, 4 tackles for loss, a pass break up and batted ball, and also a forced fumble. My dad has always been there for me and always coached me to be better and strive for success, but honestly my mom knows how to motivate me more than anybody and she is one of the biggest inspirations for me to get better each day. Even sitting in the stands, I can hear her voice from anyone, find her quicker than anybody, and if I’m getting a little too fast she knows how to slow me down.
This past Friday, we were faced with one of our biggest tests so far this season against Dorman. We knew they were a very good team riding two region wins, and also on a winning streak, so we knew we were in for a good one. They may have gotten us a couple of times in the first half, but the defense showed up the 2nd half after we calmed down and made adjustments. We know that we might be down in the first half, but ask any of our coaches, our greatest attribute as a defensive unit and a team as a whole is that we never die and we never quit. And by the way, it felt amazing to beat the “U” again for the 3rd year in a row.
This week is another big week for us against a very good Boiling Springs team. We’re coming into this game with a slight chip on our shoulder because everyone remembers what happened last year when we were beat as the #17 team in the nation and was undefeated.
But, we know each game is gonna be a dogfight and of course this going to be the same. Coach Miller told us from the beginning of the season, each game is going to be a battle and we’re going to prepare to go to war this week. We know we have a chance to win region with this game, and that’s amazing and great, but we just take each game one game at a time and treat each game the same. This game has the same amount of pressure as any other game, we know what we have to do and in the words of coach Miller “This is another opportunity for this team” to show who we are, to show what we’re made of, and to prove that we’re still HERE.”
Ambition Over Adversity.