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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Withers may not be ready to give up football

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  • RAVENSWOOD – As a football player, Nathan Withers has come a long, long way.
    Consider this: Withers didn’t even start playing the game until he was a sophomore at Ravenswood High School. Playing time was quite limited, especially for a guy who stood 5-4 and weighed 98 pounds soaking wet.
    Despite spending most of his time watching games form the sidelines and his small stature, Withers knew one thing was certain and that was the fact he loved football.
    So, he hit the weight room and got bigger and stronger. He got a little more taste of action as a junior. Then came his senior season, up to 5-8, 155 Withers found himself at cornerback, receiver and on special teams. It was a breakout season.
    Now, from being that tiny and novice player as a sophomore Withers finds himself among some of the best of the best as a member of the West Virginia team for Friday night’s Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis West Virginia-Ohio Football Classic.
    The contest will unfold at Parkersburg’s Stadium Field. Kickoff is 7 p.m
    Withers and his teammates have been working out since the weekend in Parkersburg.
    “It’s going great, everybody looks good,” said Withers, who is looking to play corner and hopefully return kickoffs.
    He continues to pinch himself that he is a player in this year’s BACF Classic – the 21st annual. “I was familiar with it (the all-star game). I was happy to get to play in it. Coach (Mick) Price (Ravenswood head football coach) told me that I was going to be playing in it and then Coach (Jeff) Campbell (Parkersburg Catholic head coach and this year’s head coach of West Virginia) called. To get to play another football game is a dream come true. I was thinking the Bluefield game (a loss in the second round of the Class AA playoffs this season which brought Ravenswood’s outstanding 2013 campaign to an end) was going to be my last. It means a lot to play another game.”
    Because of the BACF experience, Withers is thinking hard about trying his luck at a college program as a walk-on. His initial plan following his high school graduation was to take some general courses at the Ripley branch of WVU-P.
    “I’m trying to figure it all out. I love to hit people and I know football isn’t out of my system,” said Withers, who was a standout on the Ravenswood track and field team this spring. “I love this game too much. After this game, I’m hopeful something will happen.”
    It would add to Withers’ journey as a football player. A journey that has taken him a long, long way.
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