Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
After basting turkey, Centennial OL ready to taste a titleNov 21, 2012
By Don Ketchum
Sometime on Thursday (Nov. 22), Spencer Nathe will sit down with his family for their Thanksgiving meal.
Nathe, a senior at Peoria Centennial High, says he and his fellow football-playing brothers, Jordan, a junior receiver and linebacker, and Marshall, a freshman offensive lineman, likely will get a separate turkey to devour amongst themselves.
When it gets down to the end, when there isn’t much more than bones, Spencer said, “We’ll probably go to “rock-paper-scissors’ to see who gets the last few pieces of turkey.’’
Chances are, since Spencer is the oldest, he will get the rest of it. He is, after all, a lad who is still growing at 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds, and he needs to build up all the strength he can get because he has one more game to play on Saturday (Nov. 24).
Spencer and his Centennial teammates will be facing Tucson Ironwood Ridge for the Division II state championship at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Spencer is in his third season as the starter at left guard for the Coyotes.
While playing for a state championship offers him and his big brethren up front to get some attention they don’t always get during the regular season, it is not something he needs.
“I just love my job,’’ he said. “All that matters is that we get the score. I don’t need the love. I don’t need the lights.’’
Right tackle Hayden Johnson also is a three-year starter. Spencer said the line is ready to open holes for speedy tailback Jalen Ortiz and others.
They also know plenty about Ironwood Ridge. The Nighthawks handed Centennial its only loss 28-24 on Sept. 28.
Centennial has been a perennial playoff participant. Spencer has tasted some of that success, and said, “The playoffs are always are a great time. We always enjoy ourselves.’’
A victory on Saturday would make it even sweeter.
“It would be a perfect ending to an awesome career,’’ he said.
He also wrestles for the Coyotes as a heavyweight and throws the shot put and discus during the spring track season.
There has been contact from colleges about Spencer playing college ball, perhaps even at the Air Force Academy.
It is something, he said, “that I will have to continue to think and pray about.’’
Now he will get to snap on his navy-colored helmet one last time, the one with the big red “C’’ on the side.
“Playing the position I do is great, because you get to hit somebody on every play,’’ he said. “Hit the man who is in front of you and make him pay the price for getting in your way.’’
So it’s time to taste that last piece of turkey, pile on the stuffing (his favorite) and dig into a pumpkin pie (or maybe two or three).
The table has been set.