Some folks might say that football is just a sport, but for Brooks Robinson, Rashad Dunn and Eugene Rogers, the gridiron isn't a place to play games.
The Greenbrier High School athletes all have a different take on the meaning of football, and their philosophies extend well beyond what happens on Friday nights.
"It's part of my everyday life," Robinson said. "Without football, something's missing. I play because I love it and I get to hang out with all my buddies. We're like a big family."
Robinson leads the Pack at quarterback, and the senior doesn't take that role lightly. "I've got teammates that look up to me, and I look up to them," he said. "It works both ways."
During the regular season, Robinson completed 101 passes in 181 attempts, and recorded 15 touchdown tosses.
Greenbrier's Brooks Robinson (from left) Rashad Dunn and Eugene Rogers.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
But numbers don't tell the real story of football. Just ask Dunn, a senior offensive linemen and co-captain for Greenbrier.
"It's a great stabilizer," Dunn said. "Football has taught me how to be a man, on and off the field. It's given me a lot of discipline, and taught me how to be part of something bigger than myself."
Dunn doesn't get to score points or see his name in the headlines, but he toils in the trenches without complaint, because football isn't all about being in the spotlight.
"Without the backs, what's the point of having linemen? We're just blocking people," Dunn said.
Rogers plays offense and defense for Greenbrier, but the junior knows that there's more to football than blocking and tackling.
"Opportunity," Rogers said, offering a one-word description of what football means to him. "I'm trying to open up some doors to college by playing all these sports."
Rogers also plays basketball and runs track at Greenbrier, and he has displayed his athletic ability at several positions this football season. He is a fierce defensive back, a dangerous return man on special teams, and leads the area at receiver, where he has hauled in 42 passes and notched nine touchdowns.
While all three have different takes on what football means to them, Robinson, Dunn and Rogers shared the same goal this season - and they helped make it happen.
Greenbrier earned a berth in the Class AAAA state playoffs, which marks the Pack's first trip to the postseason since 1998.
"I feel we've earned a little respect, and that's very uplifting," Dunn said.
In that regard, there is a deeper meaning to football, something that has emerged at the Brierpatch this fall.
"We're a close team," Rogers said. "It's easier for a team to be united when they're winning, but we had that even when we were losing. There's a special bond now because we made the state playoffs. We worked hard to get where we are right now."
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