All Hokie, All the Time. Period.

Virginia Tech Basketball Board


Joined: 01/05/2001 Posts: 27624
Likes: 12365

Thinking about it personally, I can understand why a guy drops down to a

lower level of competition. In 8th grade I played middle school football. I was a 4th string wide receiver on a team that never threw the ball. I showed up and practiced every single day starting with two a days in August. I functioned as basically a tackling dummy for the starting defense which led to my chin getting split open from a facemask on a tackle. I did probably close to 1,000 pushups one day after we lost a game where we didn't tackle well (of course I missed zero tackles b/c I didn't play but whatever). I severely jammed/broke two fingers catching an end over end "pass" from our 4th string QB. Coaches taped it up the next day and I proceeded to make a diving fingertip catch that hurt like hell (and no one noticed). I played little to none during games (including getting thrown in at corner when I hadn't practiced defense much at all). I proceeded to get burnt on a play fake although I did track the guy down and make the tackle (I had a little speed). I never had one pass thrown to me in a game situation... not even in the "fifth" quarters when all the bench players got to play and the score didn't matter. My game action was limited to blocking defenders on a handful of snaps. My "memories" from that year of football are mostly negative ones related to injuries and practices.

The next year my brother was playing rec football. I hadn't signed up and had no intentions of playing but a couple days before the first game I was watching practice and the coach came over and asked me if I wanted to play some football. I said sure. I was under the age cut off by about two weeks. I weighed less than a pound under the weight limit. I was the tallest guy on the team. I missed all of preseason practice and b/c of that never really did learn the playbook. Offensively they lined me up in the backfield and at TE. My running plays were literally called "My Name Left/Right" and all I did was get the ball and run that way. The QB would tell me in the huddle what route to run on pass plays. I played MLB and Safety on defense. I was our punter (which was laughable) and our kick returner. They even trotted me out to do kickoffs once (despite me saying I couldn't kick). That experiment ended after the tee went farther than the ball. But the big thing was... I got to play. I got to touch the ball. I had a game where I scored a receiving and rushing TD, forced a fumble and recovered it, and ended the game with an interception (sometimes I wish there was a recording of that game). I got to return a kickoff for a TD on my high school field. I made the All Star team (although I had to drop out b/c I was diagnosed with mono right after the season ended). Was the competition a step down (or more)? Most definitely. But was it more rewarding and enjoyable for me? No doubt. I hated playing football on one team and loved it on another.

Looking back if we'd had an offense that threw the ball at all in high school I would have been tempted to try out after that year of rec football. One of the coaches on my rec team had a kid on the school team and repeatedly said I should be playing high school ball. I wasn't big but I wasn't tiny and I had great hands and above average speed. But our high school ran single wing stuff from the 70s and my experience with that in middle school had been enough.

So I guess my point is I can relate to a guy who would rather drop down in competition and actually play as opposed to staying at a higher level and getting little if any playing time.

(In response to this post by royalhokie)

Posted: 04/06/2021 at 3:57PM


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