Story and Photo by SHEL SEGAL
When the season started for the Monrovia High football team, junior running back Lawrence Spicer was not in the starting line-up for the Wildcats.
But as necessity has dictated that Spicer be given the ball, the 16-year-old has responded well and hopes his number gets called more in the future.
“The season is going good right now,” Spicer said. “Starting the game (on Sept. 26) against Los Altos I did pretty well. I’m just hoping to continue that on this week against San Marino.”
And much is at stake as the Wildcats – longtime a Rio Hondo League powerhouse – take on the up-and-coming Titans 7 p.m. Friday night at home.
But Spicer said as long as the blocking is good, he can give the team plenty of yards on the ground.
“First of all, my blockers, of course,” Spicer said about who should be credited with his rushing success. “And the play-calling from the coaches, as well as my finding the holes.”
He added life for a running back generally lives and dies with its offensive line.
“At times, it’s hard, depending on the blocking,” he said about finding holes in the defense. “But other times it’s pretty easy to find them.”
Spicer also gave credit to first-year coach Chris Stevens for the early success he is having with the team, which is 4-1 overall.
“The new coach is great,” Spicer said of Stevens. “I like his play-calling. It’s about 50 percent each throwing and running.”
He added he really appreciates when his number is called to be handed the ball.
“It makes it feel like he has confidence in me when I’m given the ball,” he said.
Spicer, who also plays linebacker for the Wildcats, started playing football when he was 5 years old at Kare Youth League in Arcadia. He said he has just really enjoyed being around the sport.
“I just like the contact and the feeling of family on the team,” he said.
Stevens said Spicer is very “soft spoken,” but tough on the gridiron.
“He’s very humble,” Stevens said of Spicer. “He’s not about himself at all. He’s a fierce competitor. Underneath that meek exterior beats the heart of a warrior. He has wonderful work ethic. He has the ability to give us depth. He’s stepped in very well and has done everything we have asked him to do. He’s a wonderful young man.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him via Twitter @segallanded.)