Posted August 27, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Strasburg senior hoping for more TD memories

Strasburg's Tyler Himelright leads
Strasburg's Tyler Himelright leads a deep receiver corps this season for the Rams, who could feature a more pass-oriented offense. Rich Cooley/Daily

Strasburg's Tyler Himelright prepares to haul in a pass
Strasburg's Tyler Himelright prepares to haul in a pass during a preseason practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Jeremy Stafford - jstafford@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Tyler Himelright remembers his first touchdown reception of the 2009 season.

Strasburg made him remember.

It was on Sept. 25, the night Page County, in their white and powder blue uniforms, trotted onto the plump, nameless field at Ram Stadium. It was the night that field, at halftime, was to be christened Glenn Proctor Field at Ram Stadium, named after the former Strasburg football coach.

Glenn Proctor coached the Rams to more than 300 wins and was inducted to the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame.

Soon after the halftime festivities, Strasburg meticulously marched to the Page County 27-yard line.

Strasburg quarterback Michael Reynolds called the play in the huddle, nothing fancy, just a snag play. The play collapsed, and Reynolds scrambled out of the pocket. He dumped a pass to Himelright, who zipped through the Page County defense, thanks to blocks from wide receiver Sheldon Stickley and fullback Tanner Orndorff.

On Strasburg's first-ever possession on Glenn Proctor Field, Himelright scored a touchdown.

Proctor took notice, raising his left fist into the Strasburg night as he watched Himelright score.

"It was the greatest feeling I could ever have," Himelright said. "Getting my first [touchdown], that'd be the time to do it."

Friends, family, Strasburg football fans -- everyone -- congratulated Himelright on his fine catch and run.

So how often does Himelright still think of the play that fashioned that great feeling?

"Oh, every day," he laughed. "My dad, he played for coach Proctor here, and to get that touchdown made me feel really proud to play for him for the one year I did."

Proctor's final year coaching football at Strasburg was Himelright's first year playing there. Current Rams coach Mark Roller took over during Himelright's sophomore season.

Roller will gladly admit he'd like the Rams to "air it out" more often, and he's slowly integrated Reynolds' arm into games over the last two seasons. But because he had an experienced pair of tailbacks in Bub McKelvey and Tanner Orndorff, Roller made the running game a priority.

But McKelvey and Orndorff have since graduated, and much of Strasburg's experience is gathered at quarterback and wide receiver. For that very reason, this season's Rams team seems primed to pass more often than it has the last two seasons.

Entertaining the idea that his responsibilities in Strasburg's offense might drastically change, Himelright let a grin shoot across his mouth.

"Sophomore year, we expected two pass plays called a game, and they usually didn't work out," Himelright said. "It's gone to being ready to hear that pass call, instead of knowing you have to block every play."

And as a sure-handed receiver, Himelright is every bit as capable of gaining the short yardage that last season was reserved for McKelvey and Orndorff.

"Tyler, he's got pretty good hands, and when the ball gets around him he usually catches it," Roller said. "So he's a big target for us if we want a possession receiver -- Tyler's the guy that we know that will catch that ball and can get five or six yards."

After an off-season of lifting and catching and anticipating, Himelright said he expects a memorable senior season, whether or not he provides Strasburg with another memorable touchdown catch.

"We're gonna give it our all," he said. "I know I'm gonna give it my all -- it's the last year, you gotta go all out.

"I expect us to do a lot better, a lot more yards, touchdowns -- wins."



    Coach: Mark Roller (third year, 3-17)
    League: Group A Bull Run District
    Offense/Defense: Pro-I/42
    Key returnees: WR Sheldon Stickley, WR Tyler Himelright, RB Michael Reynolds, RB/DB Bradley Hough, OL/DL David Jodrie, RB/LB Tyler Jenkins
    Key losses: RB/DB Bub McKelvey, RB/LB Tanner Orndorff, FB/LB Robert Drummond, TE/DL Aaron Way, TE/DL Dylan Davis, OL/DL Paul Hough, OL/DL Andrew Clements

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