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Lincks Making Up for Lost Time 9/16/21

Lincks making up for lost time


By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Justice Lincks carries a torch with him wherever he goes as a constant reminder of where he’s been. 


And hopefully, where he’s going. 


For Justice Lincks, the path from Fort Smith to Alma hasn’t been an easy one. 


But last week, the Alma senior earned his first career start at cornerback. Friday, when the Airedales host Rogers Heritage, the kid in the No. 16 jersey will be ready. 


“I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder, where nothing’s ever been given to me,” he said. “I’ve always had to work for it, so it’s kind of natural. I took my opportunity and I ran with it.”


Lincks grew up playing linebacker and running back. Two years ago, coaches moved him to defensive back. 


Now, he’s one of Alma’s starting cornerbacks. 


“His physicality on the edge is a big deal,” Alma secondary coach Dylan Work said. “He’s really come along these first couple of games. He’s showing a lot of strides in that area. He has to keep his eyes right and make sure nobody sneaks past him.”


Lining up correctly is one of the themes heading into Friday’s game with Heritage. The War Eagles have lost 57 of 61 games going back to 2014. 


By comparison, Alma is 29-32 over its previous 61 games. 


But for the Airedales to win the game, Lincks said, they’ll have to play error-free. Alma has allowed four plays of 70 or longer this season, including a 92-yard run on third down in last week’s loss to Poteau. 


“We can’t give up big plays, and if we do, we have to limit them to very few,” Lincks said. “We need to stop their running back. Because that’s their main dude; if we can stop him (Eli Craig), I think we’ll have a pretty good game.”


“We have to play the ball,” Work said. “We have to line up correctly, too.”


Craig ran for 124 yards and a touchdown in Heritage’s 35-13 loss to Van Buren last week. 


Lincks had a career-high nine tackles during last week’s loss to Poteau. Only linebacker Landon Burkhart (16) had more. In fact, Lincks is tied with two other players (Devin Poole and Zander Pulido) for the second-most stops (11) on the team. 


Not bad for a player who didn't play much as a junior. 


Lincks said he’s learned a lot from Work, including how to handle yourself off the field. 


“He’s taught me a lot of things about life, like how to be a good dude,” Lincks said. “With sports, he’s taught how you need to become a better player every day. Everything I’ve learned, he’s taught me, because I had never played DB (defensive back).”


Lincks moved to Alma at the start of his eighth-grade year to live with his aunt and uncle, Zack and Kandace Keith. 


“I have a large family, but most of my family lives in Fort Smith,” he said. “Me and my dad talked about it, and we both felt like it was the best decision for me in the long run. 


“He felt like living here gave me more opportunities.”