Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in a six-part series of stories on DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame scholarship winners. The organization awarded six $1,000 scholarships to DeKalb County senior student-athletes. The six seniors will be honored during the induction ceremony of the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame’s 2020 class at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 at DeKalb County Schools Coliseum in Rainsville. In Part 5, The Times-Journal features Plainview’s Zeb Ferguson.
RAINSVILLE — After bringing energy to his high school teams, Plainview senior Zeb Ferguson looks to bring energy to the masses as a lineworker.
Ferguson, who played football and basketball at Plainview, said he plans to join the Elite Lineman Training Institute in Tunnel Hill, Ga.
“I know a lot of people who have careers as linemen and they’re all really good guys,” Ferguson said. “They all seem to love their job and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Lineworkers support the operations of utilities by installing and maintaining electrical lines. They work to fix and/or replace lines, identify defective elements in a system, inspect and test power lines and related equipment, climb poles and transmission towers and work in severe weather conditions to maintain or restore power to customers.
Elite Lineman Training Institute is a pre-apprenticeship lineman school, providing students with training through an 11- 12-week program.
As a student-athlete at Plainview, Ferguson started playing at a young age. He first got involved in football and then found basketball.
Ferguson played at X receiver for the football team, providing work at safety and outside linebacker as a defender.
“(Ferguson) always brought a good attitude to practice,” Plainview coach Nick Ledbetter said. “Even in the middle of summer when the humidity can be rough and we were running sprints, he was encouraging everyone, ‘Let’s finish.’”
Ledbetter said Ferguson became one of the better stop-blockers he’s seen in a long time, making a few pancake blocks during his playing career.
Plainview boys basketball coach Robi Coker said Ferguson always showed consistency in his preparation and play and was “one of those guys that makes high school athletics special.”
Although Ferguson wasn’t getting a lot of playing time back during the boys basketball team’s back-to-back state championship run, he understood the magnitude of those seasons to the Plainview faithful.
“It was a really crazy time,” Ferguson said. “We hadn’t ever won a state championship and that was a huge deal to our area. Those were a bunch of really good guys.”