Gainous showing leadership on Lincoln’s o-line
By James Foster
Five weeks into the high school football season, coach Yusuf Shakir hasn’t settled on a captain for his Lincoln team.
And, the way he’s been deciding who leads his team from week to week there might not be a single player who holds the job for more than one game. But in the eyes of his teammates, Kirmari Gainous is worth following whether he has the title of team captain or not.
The work ethic demonstrated by the junior, who played just one season of junior varsity, is sufficient. He is consistent, whether he is playing on the offensive or defensive line.
“He’s a leader because he plays just as big as a role as anybody else,” said Trimi Slade, who plays center on the offensive line. “He plays both sides and if one of our tackles got hurt he stepped in. He’s been playing there ever since so that’s a guy we can lean on.”
Gainous is having a solid season despite having to work his way back this summer from a dislocated hip injury that he suffered last season. He took the time off to focus on how he could become a better player.
“While I was out, I saw that I had to work on finishing plays and not just standing around while the play is going on,” said Gainous. “I gave more effort because I think I got hurt because I didn’t give enough effort.”
Gainous, called up from junior varsity after just one season, transitioned quickly to playing up a level. He attributed his quick adjustment to strong work ethic and a commitment to improve.
“I knew varsity was going to be hard but I had to work hard,” said Gainous. “Our O-line coach had me starting my sophomore year because he saw potential in me. I would be at workouts at 6:30 a.m. in the offseason.”
The leadership qualities are what Shakir saw in Gainous and are a big reason in why he decided to move him up after one year of JV football. In addition, he showed plenty of potential to be a contributor.
“He was moved up from JV after one year because I saw that he was physical,” said Shakir. “You want those kinds of kids on your line.”
Shakir even notices a shift in his team’s play when Gainous is on the field.
“They get a sense of urgency that he’s going to play fast and hard,” said Shakir. “The kids around him know that they have to play at that same level.”
Gainous not only brought a new energy to the offensive line, but he forged a brotherhood among the unit.
“He brings effort, excitement (and) you never see him take a play off; he always keeps going,” said Slade. “We want to dominate. We’re trying to get six points every time; we’re trying to create holes for the running back.”