Football is a sport that most times draws you in as a youngster. Getting your first set of pads as a youth football player was a right of passage that many Franklin County players can remember.
But sometimes that right of passage comes later, which was the case for Waynesboro's Mitch Neterer, who joins the Indians' squad as a senior, and is expected to be a valuable receiver on an already stacked offense.
Neterer was the second-leading scorer for the Waynesboro basketball team last year, behind teammate and P.O. boys basketball first-team all-star Cameron Keck.
Keck is expected to be the team's top receiver and has taken Neterer under his wing.
"I heard the rumor around school that he was coming out so I asked him about it, and he came to practice the next day," Keck said. "He was a good prospect."
"I used to play baseball in ninth and 10th grade, but this last year I stopped playing because I wanted to focus on basketball,"' Neterer said, "but senior year came around and I didn't want to focus on just one thing, I wanted to just have fun my senior year."
Neterer began showing interest in playing football for the first time in the spring, and attended 7-on-7s and team workouts throughout the summer to prepare.
"When you get a guy like that who has never played before, you never really know if they’re going to make it through," Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said, "but from the way he worked at the very beginning you could kind of tell that he was going to stick it out and be here come season."
"It's a lot of fun and everyone has been treating me like family ever since I started," Neterer said. "Being the new person is always a little weird, but we are a really strong team."
At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Neterer has the height and speed to be a receiver, and according to Myers, the natural athletic ability to thrive in the sport, despite joining the team as a senior.
"Guys who play other sports, if you play baseball or basketball, you are going to be able to catch most of the time, so it is an easy transition," said Myers after the first day of contact practice. "With him never playing before, we had to see if he was going to be physical enough and he didn’t disappoint.
"He showed us all summer that he was good enough to play, but there was that question of him being able to take contact. But he seems fine with that as well, so he will be ready to go."