Trevor Fick: Persevering, Excelling At Panther Creek
- Name: Trevor Fick
- Age: 17
- Organization: Panther Creek High School
Author: Patrick Kinas, DNAOfSports.com creator.
(Photo courtesy: Trevor Fick.)
He’d rather play football than watch it. He’d rather ace an exam than test his teachers’ patience.
Not every high school athlete shares this approach. But not every high school athlete is Trevor Fick.
A SAT score of 1950. An ACT score of 31. Numbers like that are separators for prospective admission to the elite universities in the country.
Yet Fick retook his SATs this past weekend trying to ameliorate his score.
But he’ll do the same thing with the ACT exam on October 25th.
It’s the Fick methodology, and it’s what has the Panther Creek tight end on the cusp of a special next corridor in his life.
The range of schools Fick would like to attend is fine, in both number and quality. Harvard. Columbia. Duke. Johns Hopkins. North Carolina and Davidson are also on Fick’s short list, with the possibility of playing football contingent on which of the sextet of schools Fick chooses.
“Grades have always been a priority for me,” Fick said. “Since middle school, I've always held myself to a high standard. AP and Honors courses were normal and expected of me in my opinion. I took on the most rigorous course load I could in high school. After all, that is what colleges say they want.”
While Panther Creek’s football revival in 2014 under third year head coach Sean Crocker has been nothing short of astonishing, Fick was certainly hoping to be a central figure on the field this fall.
Double-Dose Of Adversity
However, Fick’s football story took a sharp detour just as the season was getting underway – for the second year in a row.
“Going into my junior year, I was hoping for a breakout season,” Fick said. “I had attended multiple camps and combines over the summer and I was excited to get some film to show for it. Unfortunately, on the very first play of my junior year I got injured.”
It was the first play of the 2013 season. Fick sprained his MCL, along with suffering a bone contusion and a tibial subchondral fracture. His junior season was practically over just seconds after it began.
Instead of standing up defensive ends, crutches were keeping Fick on his feet for the next two months. After rehbabbing, Fick was able to return to the field over the final few weeks, but essentially still working himself back into game shape by the time the season ended.
His senior season was now doubly important.
Fick harbored huge hopes of making up for lost time. Fick was also hoping to impress college scouts who didn’t have a chance to rate his pass-catching, pass-blocking and other skills during that lost junior season.
Leading up to his senior season, Fick spent time at a college prospect camp at Columbia (NY), with the internal notion of making up for lost time one of the subplots. But before the glow of that experience could fully wear off, more adversity would soon arrive at Fick’s door.
Just a week later, Fick tore his right ACL during some one-on-one rope drills. Surgery took place two weeks later, and the big senior season Fick was hoping to have – was over without a single snap.
This time, it was a pre-season drill in August that blew out his ACL and ended another unfulfilled season for an injury-tormented Fick.
Now, with his football fate with the Panthers sealed, all he can do is continue to learn the game from the sidelines, cheer on his SWAC leading teammates and look ahead to an incredibly bright future, whether it’s on the gridiron or not.
Ironically, football wasn’t even on Fick’s radar as recently as four years ago.
“Really before eighth grade, I was not into football,” Fick said. “I rarely watched college or NFL games on the weekend. I could never keep up with the latest news. It just wasn't my thing.”
However, the draw of the game finally tugged at Fick strongly enough to draw him into the huddle.
“It all changed when Mills Park Middle School opened and the football coach approached me to play before school started. I figured I would give it a shot, maybe play for just a year.”
“I didn't expect football to be the sport I would fall in love with.”
But it was, and he did.
Entering ninth grade, Fick was an eager understudy to now Duke Blue Devils redshirt sophomore tight end Dan Beilinson, who was one of the top tight end prospects in the nation upon his departure from Panther Creek.
Even now, despite being on the field for a handful of plays in two years, Fick is still gaining traction in college football circles.
The mental acumen is there. So is the toughness. The one question to be answered is whether Fick can stay healthy enough to stay on the field and excel.
“Despite the injuries, the little film I did have attracted some coaches along with my grades. Several Ivy League schools and others began expressing interest,” Fick said. “Working out throughout the winter and spring set myself up for a promising few camps and senior season.”
Even with the premature end to Fick’s high school career, he still remained embedded with his team, now 6-1 and leading the SWAC after a key victory over three-time defending conference champion Middle Creek last Friday.
“I never had any intentions of leaving the team,” Fick said. “In the week following my diagnosis, we had our annual team camp at Campbell University. I was able to go and be a coach for the younger guys on the team. Throughout the remainder of the summer I found myself at practice helping out where I could, keeping myself on the field.”
However, when 7:00pm hits on a fall Friday, the difficulty of putting on the Catamounts’ jersey sans pads and cleats, makes the night challenging.
“I knew Friday nights would be tough. I wasn't sure at first how exactly I would handle them,” Fick said. “A week before the first game, I was presented the chance to be the sign caller. Coach (Sean) Crocker relays the call through the headset and a group of people, including another coach and back-up quarterbacks, relay the plays to the guys on the field. I found it to be a great way to still be involved in the sport I love while being unable to play and not be sitting in the stands.”
With college entrance exams nearly behind him, along with two long years of injury rehab, Fick is preparing himself for the next challenge, whether that includes football or not.
But he’s hoping that the only medical attention he’ll need will be from the Dean of the department.
“I’m wanting to major in the field or medicine or public health.”
It’s a field in which Fick already has advanced knowledge.
He’s banking that his days of being the patient are over.
After all, Fick would rather be taking the exam instead of being examined.Tweet
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