Rickey putting no pressure on himself, Bombers
WINDHAM – Uncertainty lies ahead for almost every high school senior, especially one playing football.
Decisions on if to go to college and where to go to college are paired with the uncertain opportunities to play college football. This irresolution can often weigh heavily on the minds of many student athletes, but Windham starting quarterback and linebacker Parker Rickey’s outlook on the upcoming season is to just enjoy his last opportunity to play high school football.
“Every time I’ve talked about it since my freshman year I say ‘We’re going to be good this year’ and then we end up not being as good as I think,” Rickey said. “So I’m just going with the flow this year. I’m not going to say if we’re going to be good, or bad, I’m just going with it.
“(Knowing I’m graduating) is a little nerve racking. I don’t want to graduate or anything. But I’m not looking forward to that. I never have been, I’ve always thought, ‘I’m only a sophomore this year. I have three to two more years left,’ but I’m sure it’ll hit me soon, so I’m just going to play every single down as hard as I can and get the most out of (being here).”
Rickey said one of his team goals is to finish the season above .500. Since Rickey’s freshman year, Windham has gone 0-10, 3-7, and 3-6. This will be his second year starting at quarterback after throwing for 1,328 yards and 15 touchdowns and running for 608 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
A key for the Bombers’ success this season will be based on the play of Rickey and the backfield, which returns starting tailback Dillon Blewitt and fullback Brady Russell. The Bombers also have some experience on the offensive line, so running the ball and making plays outside of the tackle box will be key components to the Bombers’ offense. Rickey’s athleticism and playmaking ability should keep opposing defenses on their toes, which could open up the running game.
“What I can do with my feet,” said Rickey about what he brings to the offense at an individual level. “How I can escape the pocket and scramble, or run, or even throw the ball on the run. I just think that’s a big aspect to our offense. Our run game should be really good with Dill being a senior at running back and having that experience. I think we’re going to be good on the ground.”
The success of a team runs through its quarterback in many instances, and that is no different at Windham. The pressure is on Rickey to not only play well, but to also be a leader on and off the field. The Bombers lost their leading receiver last year and are inexperienced at the position this season. This forces Rickey to be even more effective and commanding than past years, and the senior is accepting the task with confidence.
“I like it actually,” he said. “I take it on as a challenge. I just try doing the best I can and if we do lose, or something bad happens, I’m going to take the full responsibility and blame for it. I want us to at least go .500 and hopefully make it to the playoffs. I just want to win. It doesn’t matter how I do. I feel like it’s a part of my personality. That’s the type of person I am, I like winning. I’m going to do whatever, and push whoever so we can get better and win more games. I’m competitive toward (my teammates) and I want to win.”
Rickey, like many graduating seniors is hoping to play football at the next level and has been contacted by a few Division II and Division III schools. He also is an all-league basketball player who is exploring the possibility of playing collegiate hoops as well. He said if he doesn’t get the opportunity to play a sport in college, he is contemplating joining the U.S. Army.