by Denny Seitz
Some things baffle the so-called sports experts who can measure statistics but not intangibles. A 5-foot-8 quarterback doesn’t make sense to them. Neither does a 5-8 linebacker.
And to many of these experts, a small-school superstar, no matter how dominating, would more than likely struggle against better competition.
But Sam Remick spends so much time working hard, that he barely notices the cynics. Remick is a 5-8 game-changer, not only as the SouthLake Christian Eagles’ star quarterback but also as the team’s star linebacker.
“Our kids were talking about him and said that he had ‘game,’” said Mike Bradley, the head football coach at North Mecklenburg High, where there’s roughly 10 times the number of students as SouthLake.
The North Meck players didn’t say Remick was a good small-school player; they said he was a good player – period.
Time after time, Remick made plays that supported those comments.
Twice during the 2010 season, he led the team on improbable game-winning scores, including a 99-yard drive with just over a minute left at the Asheville School that became a signature win during the Eagles’ 8-5 season.
Remick is Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2010 Lake Norman-Area Offensive Player of the Year. He passed for 2,300 yards and rushed for 989. The more important the game, the better he seemed to play.
On defense, he led the team in tackles and often was the player who made the big hit that changed a game’s momentum. He started on defense for four consecutive years at safety and linebacker, but it was the way he stepped into the starting role at quarterback that had the biggest influence on SouthLake’s 2010 season.
When Will Grier transferred from SouthLake to Davidson Day after the 2009 season, the quarterback duties fell to Remick, whose first start this season resulted in 63 yards passing in a 45-0 loss.
His analysis after that game: “I’m a good football player but not a good quarterback.”
Fortunately for the Eagles, Remick’s assessment proved to be as inaccurate as his passes in the season opener. Not only did the senior become a good quarterback, he became a good leader.
“I haven’t seen too many kids, in 20-some years of coaching, that have the desire and the mental toughness to compete the way he does,” SouthLake coach Rich Landis said. “That’s what I think about when I think about Sam: His leadership, his presence in the huddle, the confidence he gives to the other kids.”
Remick’s play was critical to the Eagles’ success, but, Landis said, so was the way he conducted himself on the field, the way he set an example for his teammates, and the way he represented his school.
“He’s always been just a tenacious competitor,” Landis said. “And his teammates like and respect him. What we accomplished this season had a lot to do with him.”