With Nate Sowers

Q & A

January 23, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Nate Sowers could have followed his three older brothers through the doors at Hedgesville High School.

However, he chose the doors at Martinsburg High School, where his father, Tom, was an outstanding student-athlete, eventually going on to play football at Virginia Military Institute.

Nate Sowers was born in Martinsburg and the family moved to the Berkeley Station area north of the city when he was 2 1/2 years old. He attended St. Joseph's Catholic School in Martinsburg through the eighth grade before enrolling as a freshman at Martinsburg.

His accomplishments have been numerous, though those attained during his sophomore and junior years were somewhat overshadowed by talented receiver Brandon Barrett winning the Kennedy Award those two seasons.


While the Bulldogs couldn't quite pull off a state championship in football, Sowers did win the coveted Kennedy Award, awarded to the top scholastic football player in West Virginia, last fall.

Sowers, a muscular 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, carries a 4.0 grade-point average and will head to West Virginia University this fall.

Prior to Martinsburg's basketball contest against rival Hedgesville on Friday, Sowers took the time to sit down and answer questions.

Question: Were you into sports as a young kid?

Answer: Yeah, I kind of was raised in a sports family. Three older brothers played football, basketball and baseball at Hedgesville, so I was always around sports.

Q: Was there one sports figure who was your idol growing up?

A: I always liked Michael Jordan. I got that from my brother, Josh. He was always watching him. Jordan was my first that I looked up to.

Q: Your brothers all played at Hedgesville. Why is it you went to Martinsburg?

A: I was a big-time Hedgesville Eagles fan growing up. None of my brothers played baseball and in the Martinsburg district, I played there and got to know a lot of the players and that's how.

Q: Was there someone in the immediate family who had a real influence on you?

A: Oh, I have to go with my dad. He has always been there to encourage me. He's given me the advice and has always been important to me.

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to be a quarterback?

A: I started playing basketball when I was 8 and football when I was 9. I played basketball in the rec league up to eighth grade in Martinsburg. In football, I started out as a running back. That's what my brothers were. For some reason, I could always throw the ball. In practice, I started messing around with it and the middle of my first year, I went to quarterback and have been there since.

Q: Martinsburg has a rich history of football. When you stepped in as quarterback as a sophomore, what immediate pressure did you feel?

A: I knew I would have to be the guy to step up in that position. It was a great opportunity because I knew there was really no one else coming back. I don't think there was too much pressure, but I think the pressure drives you to make you better.

Q: Quickly you became a player who was going to be someone special in the Martinsburg program. As you gained notoriety, how was the relationship with your teammates?

A: I've never had any problem with any of my teammates. I got to play with many great athletes.

Q: You played with Brandon Barrett. What was your relationship with him?

A: I felt lucky to play with such a great athlete. He really helped me out with a lot of things around football.

Q: Many people were of the opinion that you were the fuel that ignited the fire when you became quarterback - "If it weren't for you the others wouldn't have done what they did." How do you respond?

A: I think anywhere Brandon was, he would have great numbers. I think we complemented one another.

Q: How disappointing was it for you personally that Martinsburg did not win a state championship?

A: I approached my senior year as being a leader. It was very disappointing. If you were there three times, you figure you might win it one time. But there was one thing I learned.

Life never works out the way you think it will. Life goes on and my uncle told me, "There's a lot to look back on, but no matter how bad it is, you look ahead and get into something new." I was the leader of the team this year and it was hard not to win. Deep down, I thought it was on my shoulders and it hurt not to win.

Q: How much do you enjoy playing basketball?

A: I've always enjoyed basketball. It was the first sport I ever played. I've always had a love for the game. I guess football is No. 1 in my heart, but basketball has always been good.

Q: When you wake up in the morning with the alarm, how is Nate Sowers going to approach the day?

A: I try to get better as a person. Try to be open-minded. I just try to live life to the fullest and not miss any opportunities. There's always something to learn. I try to get better each day.

Q: What do you like about high school?

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