It’s often assumed in football that a team’s quarterback is the leader.
However, not just any quarterback can be a leader. It takes more than lining up under center to be viewed as a leader for a football team, regardless of whether it’s at the high school, college or professional level.
Winder-Barrow High School junior quarterback Christian Hodge has the necessary qualities to be a leader and he has been in that role for some time.
Hodge moved into the starting lineup during his freshman season in 2010 and now as a junior he has shown tremendous improvement not only in is his on-the-field play, but in handling the leadership part as well.
One can see it in watching Hodge compete for the Bulldoggs. Hodge has the physical tools necessary to be one of the team leaders. In pre-game warm-ups last Friday prior to the Heritage game, Hodge calmly goes about his business throwing passes which display a perfect spiral to his receivers. Each throw is right on the money as he prepares to fire another pre-game pass.
During the first offensive series of the game, Hodge takes the first play from scrimmage and runs around the right end of the line for a positive 3-yard gain.
Later in the first quarter, Hodge takes a vicious collision from a Patriot blitzing linebacker. Momentarily stunned, Hodge regains his composure, gets to his feet and heads to the WBHS sideline as the Bulldoggs are forced to punt.
Despite that play — and several others like it during the game — Hodge doesn’t miss one snap under center. He does all he can to direct the offense down the field for points.
In the end, WBHS would fall to Heritage 37-12. The team continues to make improvements in certain areas.
Hodge, whether on the football field or behind the plate for the Diamond Doggs, ends each game with class, regardless of what the scoreboard reads.
He is usually one of the first players to shake hands with the opposing team or even a game official.
The past few seasons have been tough on the WBHS football program. Wins have become hard to come by.
However, with players like Hodge helping lead the way, one has to believe that brighter times are ahead.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.