GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – South Greene senior Conner Race has loved sports of all kinds since he was a kid. But, as he reflects on his journey to this point, there’s one sport that stands above the rest.
“I know that football is probably where I’m heading,” he said.
However, that wasn’t always the case for Race growing up.
“I wasn’t really interested in any of that,” he recalled. “I would always shoot around – basketball and stuff.”
Until one day, he decided to watch his dad’s favorite team – the Miami Dolphins.
“I was like – I want to be like one of them, you know,” he said.
For all the games he watched, he loved finding old highlights of quarterback Dan Marino the most.
“He could see the field better than most guys could,” he said.
Just like his idol, Race played quarterback up through middle school. But, he’s since turned into a running back and slot receiver in his time with the Rebels.
“I think it’s a position where you can make your own play happen,” he said of playing running back. “If a hole ain’t open, you can make your own.”
For him, nothing beats being part of the South Greene football program.
“It’s a family – and I like the way the coaches are,” he explained. “They’re hard on us, but they want the best out of us.”
Race has also found a family with the Rebels’ baseball squad. He enjoys the energy of the dugout behind him during a big at-bat, as well as walking out to Eminem’s “Not Afraid”.
“That’s always the best,” he said.
But, he feels most at home patrolling the outfield.
“At center field – if the ball is hit and you want it – you can call people off,” he said. “If you want the ball, you can get it.”
Race believes, however, it’s the gridiron that’s taught him most about how to carry himself away from the game.
“Leadership and responsibility,” he said. “You got practice every day and a game on Friday. So after school, after that long day and workouts in the morning … I just say to myself ‘I’m doing it for the team’ – everybody’s doing it for the team.”