When preseason football practice started July 26, Lakeside only had 42 players.
Lakeside's Adrian Mydell is in the Athlete Spotlight.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I'm a little disappointed in the turnout but we have a good core group," Panthers coach Randy Hill said the first week of practice. "We might add a few guys when school opens. We usually get a few freshmen who didn't know practice has started."
Imagine Hill's surprise when Adrian Mydell walked onto the field the next week.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound Mydell strolled out on to the field ready to practice. He is the biggest player in the county.
"The first thing I thought was, 'Is this guy in the right place?,"' Hill said. "I mean, how often does a guy his size just show up out of nowhere."
Mydell's family recently moved to the area from Fort Carson, Col.
"So far, I really like it out here," the lineman says. "It is a really good school and everyone has been real nice."
Football has provided Mydell, a senior, an opportunity to meet new friends and to occupy his time.
The sport is also a new adventure for Mydell.
He hasn't played football since he was a child.
"I could not believe that he hasn't really ever played," Hill said. "With his size, I mean, what a shock."
In his previous high school, Mydell concentrated on basketball, a sport he still wants to play for the Panthers.
"Basketball allowed me to have good speed and quickness," he said.
However, not playing football for much of his life has set Mydell back in some aspects.
Mydell says he has trouble getting into a stance and he has to work on his footwork. He also hasn't had the benefit of weight-lifting sessions throughout the summer.
Hill said it is hard for Mydell to learn blocking schemes and other intricacies that go with running an option offense in just the two weeks before the season begins.
"The option isn't an easy thing to learn," Hill said. "I guess the good thing is that he hasn't been playing in a different offense and doesn't have to learn from scratch. He is having to cram a career of information into two weeks."
Although he is raw, Mydell could receive attention from college coaches because of his enormous size and frame.
"I'm just worrying about this season right now," he said.
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