By Tommy Keeler Jr. -- firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKSBURG -- Jared Getz can remember being an 8th grader on Stonewall Jackson's JV squad and watching the varsity team during practice. He looked up to the seniors then, and now a few years later it's his turn to be the role model.
Getz said it's something he's looked forward to, and something he enjoys.
"Now that I'm a senior, it's a big role because you know that people are looking up to you," Getz said. "You gotta be willing to speak out and tell people, 'Hey, you need to do this,' and, 'You need to do that.' Also you need to help the little kids because you're not the little kid being helped anymore."
Getz may not be one of the "little kids," but he is still small in stature. The 5-foot-5, 150-pound running back/linebacker hasn't let his size effect his play.
Last year he rushed for 706 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground.
He said he likes to think people overlook him because of his size sometimes, so that he can use that as motivation on the field. Generals coach Dick Krol said Getz has been a real key for the Generals the last few years.
"Getz has been a mainstay for three years," Krol said. "He's very dependable. He's a very tough, hard-nosed kid."
Getz said he loves playing at running back, because he loves scoring touchdowns. He said he also feels that running back is a very tough position to play.
"I think running back is one of the most challenging positions," Getz said. "People think it's just the glory position most of the time. But they don't understand the little things that come to it. You have to get your feet right. You have to know when to read, what to read, when to react. And mainly you got to hold onto the football and that can be challenging sometimes."
Getz has had some help in the backfield the last few years, including the graduated Trevor Warner and fellow senior Anthony Peacher.
Getz and Peacher should be strong in the backfield once again and the two are real good friends.
"Me and Jared, we're tight," Peacher said. "Me and Jared and Devon [Martin] and [Jacob] Armell, we're a pretty straight group. We trust each other. If somebody gets down, we pick one of them up. If one of us makes a bad play, we just cheer each other up and say, 'We'll get 'em the next play.'"
Getz said he also loves playing at linebacker. Last year Getz had 113 tackles to lead the Generals.
Much like the running back spot, Getz said he thinks playing at linebacker is the hardest position on defense.
"You gotta be physical," Getz said. "You gotta be fast. It's like everything put together. You gotta cover the pass. You gotta be blowing up the run on the line from sideline to sideline. You gotta be the smartest people on defense. You gotta tell the defense what to do, the line what to do. You gotta help each other out."
Getz said he and the rest of the senior class are really close, and they'd like to go out with a bang in their senior year.
The Generals had a solid season last year, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. Getz said he is hoping the team can go even further this season.
"Last year was the first we made the playoffs in like 10 seasons," Getz said. "It definitely motivated us a lot because Stonewall doesn't get there every year like some teams.
Knowing that we made the older adults proud and they were excited for us, helped push us. And now that we know what it's like being in the playoffs, we want to have that feeling again.
"We want to make it again this year, especially for our senior year."