HS football story of the week

September 24, 2008 2:49:51 PM PDT
Upon seeing Garrett Leatham, a massive sophomore at 6'3" and 210 pounds, it is hard to believe he is able to play as the QB for the Middle Creek Mustangs.

For such a large guy, Garrett is able to move relatively quickly to escape defensive pressure, but the Leesville Road Pride proved too much for the Mustangs on September 19, 2008.

Leatham and his Mustangs were served a 13-3 defeat, as the Pride improved to 5-0 on the season and the Mustangs and their young quarterback dropped to 1-3.

Although Middle Creek opened the game with a 22 yard field goal in the middle of the first quarter by Matt Frongello, Leatham was unable to do much else on the offensive side of the ball.

Leatham referred to the Leesville Road Pride as the toughest defense the Mustangs have faced thus far this season, commenting that: "we had some good drives; we just didn't punch it in." Leatham faced tough pressure from the stingy Pride defense and threw two interceptions.

He completed 15 passes out of 34 attempts for a total of 188 passing yards, but the Mustangs proved incapable of exploiting the opportunities handed to them by Leesville Road, who committed three turnovers themselves.

The Pride maintained control of the ball, capitalizing on their possessions, while bringing an unshakeable defensive force to every play. The result: the Leesville Road Pride flat outplayed the Middle Creek Mustangs.

Leatham was able to scramble to escape Leesville Road's pressure to avoid getting sacked, but his field vision and passing accuracy were affected by the Pride's defense nonetheless.

Garrett is not only quite big for a quarterback, but he is fairly young too. This might explain his tendency to throw the ball to receivers who are tightly covered, and his infallible pattern of throwing the ball cross-field, down the sideline, where the defense's safety is always there to intercept the pass, or badger the intended receiver.

In spite of these tendencies, Leatham has achieved an impressive role, as the starting quarterback, at a young age, to which he credits his hard work but attributes the majority of his success to his: "good coaches and good teammates," who he claims he is, "blessed to have."

Leatham notes that he feels a lot of additional pressure as the result of his unique situation, however, "there are a lot of rewards that come with it too."

Head coach Sean Crocker agrees that Garrett, "stepped into a pretty big leadership role," and that he is, "looking for Garrett to provide a lot for us this year," but Coach Crocker seems confident as he adds that Leatham is, "a pretty smart kid" and "the best QB we have."

Despite the Mustangs' 1-3 record, they are an all-around talented team. Coupled with Leatham's developing talent, Middle Creek is packing two athletically gifted wide receivers in Tre Nesbit and Marvin Mackey.

The Mustangs' defensive team is also quite capable, and they delivered many big hits to the Pride that resulted in fumbles. Perhaps the key to success for the Mustangs lies in their camaraderie, as Leatham refers to his team as, "one big family."

From his sincere manner and sensitive, but firm, tone, there is no doubt that Leatham is committed to his team and plays for the love of the game.

He compares his quarterback style to Brett Favre, who he claims that similarly to Favre, "I go out there and put all my heart into it and just hope the best comes out."

When he's not playing football, Garrett likes to hang out with his friends and play basketball for the Middle Creek Mustangs during the winter; he asserts that football is his favorite sport. In order to have a successful Mustang season, Coach Crocker states: "We are going to have to take care of the ball a little bit better and capitalize on opportunities that we get. If we have a chance to make a play, we have to make it."

Garrett Leatham is sure to heed his coach's advice in the Mustangs' next game against Green Hope on September 26, 2008, when two young and talented quarterbacks, Garrett Leatham and Kameron Bryant, will face off in a voracious battle for victory.


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