It’s been nearly a year since inside linebacker Myric White of Parkland got his first taste of varsity football action. It was a special occasion because he got the starting nod for a first-round game of the NCHSAA 4-A playoffs after moving up from the junior varsity.
“Playing my first varsity game in last year’s state playoffs made me realize that hard work really does pay off,” said White, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound junior. “That’s what helped to put me in position to get an opportunity to show what I could do.”
Although this season is in its early stages, White has already become a prime figure on defense. During the off-season, he labored diligently and came back stronger (305 pounds bench press) and faster (4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash).
“Myric is the kind of player you need to have in your program to be successful,” said coach Martin Samek. “He’s coachable and constantly works on his craft. Defense is the strength of our team and he’s a big reason why. What we get with him is a gritty, blue-collar type who does what’s required to help us win.”
Preparation plays a vital role in White’s emergence. Aside from putting in the time to improve his strength, speed and quickness, he’s just as dedicated to mastering the mental aspects of the game. That means studying the play book and watching as much video of opponents as he can.
“I’m at my best when I read offenses and recognize plays,” said White, who has a 3.5 grade-point average. “I take notes about blocking schemes and any tendencies I can pick up on.”
In the season opener, Parkland suffered a 22-21 loss to High Point Central. In White’s view, the Mustangs defense played well in spots, but not well enough overall.
“Most of the night, we stopped them and gave the ball back to our offense,” he said. “But there were a few times when we had broken tackles and blown pass coverages and they scored. We’ll fix that.”
Q: Who’s had the most influence in your life?
Answer: Rodrick White (father) and Dedrick Casey (cousin)
Q: Who’s the athlete you most admire?
Answer: Ray Lewis (retired NFL linebacker)
Q: Who’s the best teacher you’ve had?
Answer: Mr. Edwards (English at Parkland)