The Sky is the Limit for Grounded Sophomore

Sometimes it is hard for athletes to be humble, especially when they are in a position to be stars. But for sophomore Samy Johnson, humility is an everyday routine.

Johnson, starting running back for the Rockets, began his football career in the fourth grade with Life Champs, which is a youth football league here in Little Rock. Johnson always knew he wanted to be a running back, and he has always played that position since he started. “I chose to be a running back because I love the feeling of running the ball and knowing that I could score at any moment in the game,” said Johnson.

In middle school Johnson went to Christ Lutheran School where he played basketball and track. He continued to play football but since Christ Lutheran didn’t have enough players to form a complete team, he joined the Holy Souls football team. “Middle school helped me mature in athletics and in school and showed me how to become a better person,” said Johnson.

Johnson continues to play multiple sports in high school. But he has always felt that football was the main sport for him. “As a kid I always watched football on TV and now it’s so exciting being able to actually play football,” said Johnson.

Mr. John Fogleman, the head football coach, has been watching Johnson play since the parochial league and isn’t that surprised by Johnson’s success. “You see early on his success with the parochial league and from last year,” said Mr. Fogleman. “He has got a lot of talent.” Johnson has been at the school for only two years, but he has already experienced [our sense of]  brotherhood from the football team. Johnson said, “My teammates have helped me by teaching me how to learn from my mistakes that I make and teaching me the fundamentals of how to play my best.”

Johnson’s friend, sophomore Thomas Staab, isn’t surprised at Johnson’s success either. Staab said, “He was doing the same thing freshman year and he’s only gotten better.” Even though he hasn’t known Johnson for that long, senior Orlando Henley has nothing but positive things to say about Johnson. “I call him the super sophomore; he does things not too many sophomores could do,” said Henley. “He really impressed me. He is really humble, and he gives all of his credit to his lineman.”

Johnson may only be a sophomore, but he helps out in a big way. “He is very fast and quick, and when there is a big time situation, he is there to help out,” said Henley.

Mr. Fogleman said Johnson’s work attitude allows him to be good. A lot of people have that work ethic, he added, but they don’t know how to use it.

This past September, Johnson was nominated for the Yarnell’s Sweetest Play on Channel 7 for a long run he had against Jonesboro in week three. Johnson said, “I felt pretty excited to know that I had one of the best plays in Arkansas.” Unfortunately, he did not win the award but he did feel honored to be competing against other top-level performers.

Staab has also been close with Johnson off the field. Staab said, “I met him last year and I could tell he was a great athlete, and off the field he was a really funny and humble guy.”

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