Name: Johnny Sheesley
School: Blacklick Valley
Sheesley’s week: Sheesley provided an early spark in Blacklick Valley’s season-opening 42-7 win last Friday at Meyersdale in a WestPAC game last Friday.
The Vikings’ former quarterback moved to tailback this season, and he finished with 20 carries for 256 yards and touchdown runs of 54, 24 and 9 yards.
“You can tell early when you’re feeling good,” Sheesley said. “We wanted to set the tone and get ahead early, and we were able to do that.”
Sheesley also excelled on defense, where he was selected to the 2011 Tribune-Democrat All-Area first team at defensive back. Sheesley also intercepted a pass against Meyersdale.
“That’s a career game,” Blacklick Valley coach Bill Zamboni said. “At a small school like Blacklick Valley, kids like him come don’t come around very often.”
Friday night lights: Blacklick Valley plays its first Friday night home game this week as the Vikings host conference rival Rockwood at 7 p.m. Both teams are 1-0.
Vikings players had their first full practice under the lights Tuesday, and even that turned into a bit of a spectacle.
“Most of the time, we’d have one or two parents coming to a practice,” Zamboni said. “Right now, we’re getting 150.”
Even the players are in awe, even if the focus remains mostly on Rockwood.
“I went out there and just looked at them. It was amazement,” said Sheesley, who maintains a 3.9 GPA. “Playing on Friday nights, it’s like a whole different level. It feels like we’re going into the Super Bowl.”
Three-sport standout: Sheesley’s play creates headlines in football, but he’s also a standout in basketball and baseball. In fact, his favorite sport is baseball.
But Sheesley, who had six interceptions and five fumble recoveries as a junior, knows his future at the next level is playing football.
Princeton and St. Francis are recruiting the defensive back prospect hard, but the 6-foot-0, 175-pounder is drawing Division I attention. Michigan State has expressed interest in inviting Sheesley to a home game.
“Believe it or not, he can play any position I ask him to, but his strong point is at corner,” Zamboni said. “He has great quickness, but not only that, he’s a quality person. He could be the best player on any team at any position he’d choose.”
Life after football: While Sheesley plans on playing college football, he has bigger plans after graduation.
“My favorite class is calculus. I love math,” Sheesley said. “My plans are to be a dentist, major in something like biochemistry before going to dental school.”