Catch­ing up with top re­ceiver

Strozier earns Chick- fil- A Prep Ath­lete of the Week

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

By Ja­son Mur­dock jmur­dock@cov­news.com

Eric Strozier has been mak­ing plays for the sec­ondyear Al­covy Tigers since he stepped onto the foot­ball field Sept. 1, 2006.

And de­spite a 17-10 heart­break­ing loss to Win­der-Bar­row last Fri­day dur­ing the fi­nal game of his high school ca­reer, it was no dif­fer­ent.

In fact, Strozier un­ques­tion­ably did his part, catch­ing eight passes for a ca­reer-high 187 yards.

In ad­di­tion, he played ex­cep­tion­ally well on spe­cial teams, re­turn­ing two kick­offs for nearly 75 yards.

“I was just so into (the game) I re­ally didn’t even no­tice it,” said Strozier of his big re­ceiv­ing day.

Based on his per­for­mance, Strozier has been se­lected as the Chick-fil-A Prep Ath­lete of the Week.

Ear­lier this week, Al­covy head coach Kirk Hoff­mann said that his star re­ceiver was one of the rea­sons why the Tigers im­proved so much from their win­less cam­paign just one year ago.

“This group of kids went from ground zero to lay­ing a pretty good foun­da­tion for our pro­gram,” said Hoff­mann, “and Strozier was one of those kids.”

Al­though it may look easy on TV or from the stands, catch­ing passes is no sim­ple task. In fact, there are many fac­tors that go be­yond the av­er­age fan’s com­pre­hen­sion, such as cov­er­age and know­ing your routes.

“The hard­est thing about catch­ing a pass is the con­cen­tra­tion,” said Strozier. “If you turn your eyes for a split

sec­ond you could drop it.”

While he also led the team in re­ceiv­ing last year, Strozier im­proved his game through re­lent­less work and prepa­ra­tion, par­tic­u­larly run­ning con­tin­u­ous routes in prac­tice.

“The off-sea­son work­out pro­gram re­ally helped,” said Strozier, “and we changed the of­fense around to a spread of­fense.”

When asked what he’d like fu­ture Al­covy teams to un­der­stand re­gard­ing the frame­work he and his team­mates built, Strozier said hard work ethics, never giv­ing up and play­ing hard.

Right­fully so, those three in­gre­di­ents are vi­tal for any pro­gram at any level to be suc­cess­ful, which al­lowed the Tigers to win two more games this year com­pared to last sea­son.

Ad­mit­tedly, Strozier will miss play­ing prep ball with all of his friends that he grew up with. How­ever, the young wide­out has a bright fu­ture ahead of him at the next level, and sev­eral col­leges are in­ter­ested in him.

“I’m go­ing to miss play­ing foot­ball with those close to me over the past two years,” said Strozier.

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

Play­maker:

Eric Strozier is the Chick-fil-A Prep Ath­lete of the Week.

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