EUPORA â€“ As the Eupora Eagles line up against Bruce Friday night, they will be counting on the leadership of its senior athletes.
It will be a young sophomore guiding the Eagles at quarterback.
Trey Pittman has been playing football since he was young. His love of the game extends far beyond his arrival at Eupora in the 8th grade. Having grown up in Texas where high school football is a big tradition, Pittman says it is just â€śengrained in meâ€ť to love and play the game.
The quarterback may be relatively new to town, but it has not stopped him from already developing a love for the community and being able to represent it on the football field.
â€śFootball is big down here and a lot of people support the football team,â€ť Pittman said. â€śI just feel honored to play football for Eupora.â€ť
His long-term love of the game is what pushes Pittman to give relentless effort every day. It's what has transformed the young athlete into the standout player he is today and what keeps pushing him to improve.
â€śIâ€™m just a kid who works hard every day and wants to get better every day,â€ť Pittman said. â€śI know I havenâ€™t made it to the highest point I can make yet, so I just have to keep working every day and get better every day.â€ť
The sophomoreâ€™s statistics certainly indicate a player that works hard and has talent far beyond his years. In the Eagles 14 games this season, Pittman is 106-for-200 for 1,594 yards and 19 touchdowns. The quarterback also has one rushing touchdown this year and during his 200 pass attempts has only been intercepted a total of five times.
While Pittmanâ€™s statistics speak to his individual talent, the quarterback is quick to mention that he does not play for himself but rather for his team and the entire Eupora community.
â€śIâ€™m more of a team player," Pittman said. "I just want the team to do well and if the team does well then I guess I am doing my job."
Pittmanâ€™s humility stands out when speaking with the athlete. Even with all of the hard work he puts in every day, Pittman is quick to mention he would not be the player he is without the guidance of his coaches.
â€śCoach (Junior) Graham means a lot to me,â€ť Pittman said. â€śHe has taught me a lot. I donâ€™t think I would be where I am if not for all my coaches that push me every day. I just have to listen to what they have to say and know in the long run it will work out.â€ť
There is one last group that the quarterback turns to for support and that is his family. With most of his relatives living in Mississippi, Pittman says they â€ścome out and support every time they get the chanceâ€ť and for that support, he is grateful and just wants to â€śthank them for coming out and supporting him.â€ť
While Pittman is busy thanking others for their support and guidance, his teammates and coach are just as appreciative of all that he does for the team.
All-star wide receiver Derrick Jones is one of Pittmanâ€™s favorite targets on the field and the senior is certainly appreciative for having Pittman as a teammate.
â€śTrey has meant everything to me,â€ť Jones said. â€śHe has been a part of my success and I couldnâ€™t have done it without him.â€ť
Graham is also quick to speak on behalf of Pittmanâ€™s talents and contributions to the Eupora football team.
â€śTrey has so many strengths and it starts with his head,â€ť Graham said. â€śHe is highly intelligent. He understands what he sees on the other side of the ball. He is not flashy. He manages the game well and doesnâ€™t have to be the center of attention. The personality you see off the field is the same on the field. He just gets the job done and is definitely a good fit for our program.â€ť
Eupora may be the perfect fit for Pittman right now, but that has not stopped the sophomore from setting his sights on the future.
Pittman says he wants to play for an Southeastern Conference school and while he knows that is a high goal, it's one he believes he can reach with hard work.
As for the future right now, Pittman and his Eagle teammates are focused on beating Bruce Friday night then making their way to Jackson for the state championship game.
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