Boredom brings Danville lineman back to football

October 14, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

How much do you want it?

It's a question that coaches constantly ask players to motivate them toward the task at hand. And it's a question that George Brown is better prepared to answer than most of his Danville teammates.

Brown found out just how much he wanted to be on the foootball field only after he spent a season away from it. He left the team after his freshman year, then returned this spring to prepare for his junior season.

"We got him back out there this yaar, and he's done a good job for us," assistant coach Marty Jaggers said. "He's just got a lot of natural ability."


But while Brown has the way, he didn't have the will after his freshman year.

"He did a real good job his freshman year, but come his sophomore year he decided he'd rather stay at home and sit in the air conditioning, which a lot of kids would rather do," Jaggers said.

"I guess I was just being lazy last year," said Brown.

Brown said he had to answer for his decision to former teammates and other friends, both at the time he made his choice and after the Admirals won the Class A state championship.

"When I quit, everybody asked me why I did it, and a lot of (the players) teased me when they got their rings," he said.

Brown didn't go to the state title game, and he said he went to only a couple of Danville's games all season. Still, he was starting to get an idea of what he was missing.

"Just getting up and going to school was boring," he said.

So when Danville coach Sam Harp approached him about giving it another try, Brown was ready to say yes.

"He realized sitting in that air conditioning's not as much fun as playing on Friday night," Jaggers said.

Brown rejoined the team for spring practice, which allowed him to get back in the swing of things -- "That's one of the advantages of spring football," Jaggers said -- though he said it was near the end of summer before conditioning allowed him to catch up with his teammates.

"I was totally out of shape," he said.

His third straight two-way start

Still, Danville's coaches could see Brown's value to their lines. Jaggers said Brown's ability to move well makes him an asset on both sides of the ball, and he is expected to make his third straight two-way start Friday when the Admirals (5-2, 2-0), who have a 13-game win streak gainst Class A opponents, host district foe Trimble County (0-7, 0-2), which has lost 21 straight games and scored 15 points or less in all but one of those defeats.

"He's athletic; he's not one of those big, slow guys who can't move," Jaggers said of Brown.

Brown worked with the second team through most of the Admirals' preseason practices, but he joined the first-string defense days before the season opener.

He started the opener at nose guard, and he joined the starting lineup on offense two weeks ago when he replaced Jacob Moore at guard as part of a series of changes on that unit.

"I was kind of surprised," Brown said. "I was used to playing defense, and then they threw me in on offense. I just got out there and did what they told me to do, and things just worked out."

Brown said he's happy to be in on the action on both sides of the ball.

"It's fun," he said. "I just get tired, but it's no biggie."

Not for someone who's trying to get one of those rings his teammates teased him about last winter.

"I'm trying to get two rings," he said. "If I do my part right, I can probably help us get there."

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