Size is not the most important thing in football.
Shermoan Daiyaan knows this firsthand. Standing 4-foot-11 and tipping the scales at 82 pounds, the 14-year-old from Grovetown is a speedy force to be reckoned with on the football field as a wide receiver and defensive back for Greenbrier's junior-varsity Wolfpack.
"I admire him for being out there. I really do as small as he is," said Mickey Derrick, athletic director and head football coach and Greenbrier High School. "As long as he wants to be out there and as long as he practices and goes through everything everybody else does, we are going to keep him out there. It seems like the smaller guys, in a lot of situations, they will try a little harder than the bigger guys."
As a freshman, this is Shermoan's first season playing football. He tried out as a way of trying something new and getting involved in his new school, he said. And he adds that he isn't afraid on the field and or of the first junior varsity game scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Harlem.
"It has been pretty cool," Shermoan said, noting that his teammates tend to look out for him on and off the field. "You just have a job and you do it. Nobody can say anything. I did it after hearing my parents say it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you can do anything."
Then again, size can matter.
Josh Adams and Shermoan Daiyaan
Photo by Jim Blaylock
On the other end of the football spectrum, some may outweigh Josh Adams, but he is one of Columbia County's biggest intimidators on the football field. Standing 6-foot-6 1/2 and 275 pounds, the 16-year-old junior plays offensive and defensive tackle for the Augusta Christian Schools Lions.
Josh played football since the seventh grade and helped lead his team to a region title at center last year. He works hard in the weight room and at basketball and track after football season, he said.
But there is more to Josh than size.
"I think sometimes you see big strong guys that size and automatically think they are only big and strong," said Bruce Lane, Augusta Christian athletic director and head football coach. "But Josh is a very sensitive young man with a good heart about him. A good person as well.
"I think a little changes when he walks between those lines on Friday nights," Lane said.
Josh agreed. "That is how you have got to be. You don't just go out there and play football."
The Lions' first varsity game is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Briarwood Academy. As an upperclassman and veteran varsity player, Josh sees himself as a leader of the team.
"I am a leader to the smaller underclassmen who look up to you ... No whining allowed. You don't quit," said Josh, who plans to muscle his team to another title.
"I expect to win state this year, no less."
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