Scholar Athlete: Sammy Qadan

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trinity Episcopal School offensive guard Sammy Qadan, right, practices drills with Seth Sanford Wednesday afternoon at Trinity’s football field. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal offensive lineman Sammy Qadan doesn’t just make good grades.

Qadan, a senior, scored a 27 out of 36 on the ACT, and maintains a 3.8 GPA. The 27 score is one of the better ACT scores for an athlete in the Miss-Lou.

“You just have to get a good night’s sleep (the night before),” Qadan said. “I study a little bit before the test and try to do the best I can.”

But Qadan said most of his test preparation comes from his classes at Trinity instead of a workbook.

“I’ve never been into the prep stuff,” Qadan said. “I just listen in class and do what the teachers tell me to do. I guess it’s paid off.

“I might take the test again in December. I’m not really sure. I think everyone’s always aiming for a 36, but the big (scholarship) money starts coming in with a 29 and above, so I’d have to say that’s my goal number, if I have one.”

Qadan said he’s been playing football since the AYA days as a youth, and has been under coach David King since seventh grade.

“Trinity has been the best time of my life,” said Qadan, who has attended Trinity since kindergarten. “When you’ve been at the same place for 13 years, you’ve seen the same people long enough to where they’re not just friends, but they’re family. That’s the best part about Trinity.”

Football was something he and his cousin Cody Strickland, who has already graduated from Trinity, started playing when they were young.

“I live out on (Highway) 61 South, in the middle of nowhere,” Qadan said. “We’d always come into town and go play on John Glenn Avenue, because that’s where a lot of people lived at the time.

“We’d just pick teams and play backyard football. People from Trinity, ACCS and Cathedral all played with us.”

Qadan said he enjoys playing for King, who is almost like a second father to him, he said.

“Me and his son Kent King are best friends,” Qadan said. “He’s not just a great coach. He makes an effort to get to know you, and he’s always thinking ahead, like a chess match.

“In a lot of our games, we’ll be up by a lot, and he’ll always play freshmen and sophomores and get them experience. That’s why Trinity’s always such a strong team, because those freshmen and sophomores are seeing the juniors and seniors working hard, and they want to keep that going.”

Qadan said he does play some defense, but he usually sticks strictly to offense.

“Sometimes at the end of the game they’ll say, ‘Hey, you want to play defense?’” Qadan said. “I don’t really think I’d be able to play it every single snap, though.”

As a lineman, Qadan said the offensive line unit takes pride in allowing Trinity’s big-play athletes to score.

“We may not be running 60 yards for a touchdown or catching touchdown passes, but we’re the ones opening the lanes,” Qadan said.

“I know on defense, (defensive coordinator Richy) Spears always says you might not make the tackle, but you will make the play. Domination starts up front — if the line’s not doing its job, the whole thing falls apart.”

Qadan is the son of Sandra Qadan.