Stockstill reflects on 2013 season and how he has grown since

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adams County Christian School senior quarterback Tyler Stockstill throws the ball in practice  Tuesday. (Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat)

Adams County Christian School senior quarterback Tyler Stockstill throws the ball in practice Tuesday. (Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Remembering the tears shed by former teammates in an upset playoff loss can motivate a young man. For Adams County Christian Academy’s Tyler Stockstill, it was the “devastation” that set the tone for the offseason.

“I was devastated when we lost,” said the returning starting quarterback. “It hurt me because I’ve been with all of the seniors since eighth grade, and I know that was their last chance for a state championship. Seeing how bad it hurt them made it worse.”

Unlike previous seniors, Stockstill’s high school career didn’t end in a 30-21 loss to Glenbrook, a team his Rebels defeated 70-48 during the regular season. His season will end in 2014, though, as the senior prepares for his last season under head coach David King. King likes the growth he’s seen in his quarterback.

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“Tyler is much more mature,” King said. “He’s gotten a lot stronger in the weight room, and he looks good.”

The preparation hasn’t been easy. Sure, last year’s loss has haunted Stockstill enough to hit the weights harder, study the game more and put in extra hours with his receivers. But with the title senior comes a disease all students can relate to.

“I’m starting to get a little bit of senioritis,” Stockstill said. “But I know it’s my last year, and I have to go out there and do everything I can.”

Senioritis isn’t strong enough to erase Stockstill’s memory of a 10-win season gone sour. At the mention of the Glenbrook playoff loss, Stockstill puts his head down, bites his fingernail and reluctantly remembers his two interceptions. That playoff performance came after Stockstill completed 90 percent of his passes and threw two touchdowns against Glenbrook earlier in the season, which Stockstill felt was his best performance of the year. Following a bitter ending, Stockstill is grateful for a second chance, a chance he and his teammates plan on cashing in on.

Coming into the summer, Stockstill wanted to get stronger and learn how to read coverages better, a feat he feels he’s pulled off.

“I’ve gotten a lot more confidence since last year,” Stockstill said. “Now it’s just second hand nature to pickup a defense and know what’s going on.”

Though Stockstill will be one of ACCS’ main offensive weapons, King said he doesn’t have to win games by himself. Instead, he would like to see his senior quarterback play with poise, confidence and leadership.

“He’s very coachable, and as I’ve told him, he does not have to win the game,” King said. “He just has to manage it. We’re going to be very good offensively if we don’t turn the ball over.”

Aiding Stockstill will be returning starting skill players Torrey Smith, Lester Wells, Trey Fleming and Parker Rymer. Along with physically making himself better, Stockstill felt he improved his chemistry with his skill players over the offseason in some 7-on-7 scrimmages.

“Having Trey and Lester, Parker and Torrey, it makes my job a lot easier,” Stockstill said.

Like Stockstill, his teammates felt the disappointment of ending their season unexpectedly. Because of that lasting memory, Stockstill said he and his teammates have transformed that feeling of loss to a hunger for victory.

“We have a chip on our shoulder,” Stockstill said. “We’re looking for redemption.”