Centers play key role in football success

It’s possibly the least recognized and celebrated position on the football field, but it could be argued it’s one of the most important.  It’s the center.

Jordan England

Jonathan Stricklin

“I get to touch the ball on every play and if I mess up, the whole play is messed up,” said Jonathan Stricklin, senior center for the Bruce Trojans. “It all starts with me.”

“I’m always in the middle of the action and the first to get my hands on the ball every play,” said John Moore, sophomore center for the Vardaman Rams.

Most people grow up dreaming about being a star quarterback, running back or wide receiver, but never a center.

“I always wanted to be a tight end,” Calhoun City’s sophomore center Jordan England said. “But when they put me on the line it was OK. I just wanted to help the team any way I could.”

“I loved fullback. I played in it pee wee,” said Rhett McCormick, Calhoun Academy’s junior center. “I understood I wasn’t the fastest person out there when I moved up.”

All four agreed a lot of responsibility is placed on the center, which can be challenging.

“The hardest part is learning how to deliver a good snap, recognize the blitz and pick it up and keep your focus on everything,” Stricklin said.

John Moore

Rhett McCormick

“We work hard on getting our footwork right and getting to your block,” Moore said. “I also had to learn how not to flick my wrist on the snap. It took a little while, but I got it.”

“You’re the leader on the line, so you have to make sure everything is right and then focus on a good snap for your quarterback,” McCormick said.

The best part about the position was unanimous, too.

“I like firing off and hitting somebody,” England said.

“A perfect block always feels good,” Moore said.

“When you make that block that gets your running back into the open field, that’s the best part,” McCormick said.

“Delivering a good snap and then the key block that sets up a touchdown, that’s a great feeling,” Stricklin said.