Football Preview 2016: Pritchett’s versatility key for Rams
STRASBURG — Strasburg’s Josh Pritchett has played all over the field for the Rams during his high school career.
The senior’s versatility is just one of the reasons he’s been a big part of the team the last three years.
“He’s such a good athlete that you can put him at a couple different spots on the football field,” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said. “That’s what we’ve been able to do with him here the last couple years. He’s kind of played where we needed him.”
As a freshman, Pritchett was brought up from the junior varsity team during the season to play on the offensive line at center. He played there as a sophomore, but then moved to fullback at the start of last year.
During the season he moved back to center, and then later in the year returned to fullback again.
“I was helping the team,” Pritchett said of playing at center for the Rams. “I didn’t really like it, but I was helping the team. I was better at that position than other people.”
Pritchett ran for 182 yards on 57 carries last year for the Rams with two touchdowns.
He said he enjoys playing at fullback.
“You don’t get a lot of running plays, but that don’t matter,” Pritchett said. “I just like making holes for people to score touchdowns. Like last year, (Strasburg 2016 graduate) Justin (Carr) got a lot of touchdowns, because the line was making the holes. Blocking is pretty fun, because I can just run full speed at people.”
While Pritchett enjoys playing on offense, he said he loves playing on defense just as much. He’s played on the defensive line for the last three years, but this season he will play at linebacker.
Last year Pritchett had 29 tackles, including two sacks. He said that getting a sack is his favorite part of the game.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” Pritchett said. “Just going out there making a sack, you look up in the stands, everyone’s flipping out. Coaches are out there cheering. It’s just fun.”
Pritchett said he learned a lot his first couple years from some of the players around him on defense.
“Ryan Smoot was there. He was teaching me how to do stuff. Jonathan Kloosterman was teaching me how to play. Trenton (Davis) was there, Colton Funk, all them helped me out,” Pritchett said. “They told me what to do, helping me out, teaching me how to play real football.”
This year as a senior it will be Pritchett’s turn to teach some of the younger players on the squad.
Roller said he’s counting on Pritchett’s leadership and thinks he will do a good job.
“His peers are the ones that look to him for guidance, and he’s a kid who’s very capable of leading,” Roller said. “He has that mixture of comedian and leader. He just needs to know when to turn that comedian style off and be that guy that says ‘hey, come on guys lets do this.’ And I think he can do it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do out there on the field.”
Pritchett is also the punter, and last year led the area with a 40.1 average.
Pritchett also wrestles and plays baseball. In his first three years, he lettered in all three sports each year.
“It’s pretty cool to do that. Not many people have done it. It’s just nice doing it,” Pritchett said. “Doing all three sports is fun. Then I have something to do all year. It helps me keep my grades up, because If I don’t keep my grades up I’ll be ineligible for a sport. I just like playing sports.”
The Rams were 5-6 last year, losing in the first round of the playoffs to Robert E. Lee.
They lost quite a few players to graduation, and will have a young squad this year. However, Pritchett said he still has a good feeling about the team this season.
“I think we’re doing pretty good this year,” Pritchett said. “People that didn’t play last year are coming out this year and playing. I think that’s going to help us on both sides of the ball.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com