By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
All his life Stillwater High School senior Garrett Guthrie has been told he’s too small to have any impact on the football field.
As it turns out, one of Stillwater’s smallest player has had a big impact for the Pioneers as a linebacker.
“He’s another example of a kid who doesn’t listen to when other people tell him that he’s too small to do something,” SHS coach Tucker Barnard said. “There’s a lot of kids that quit sports or quit football before they’re seniors because they’ve listened to people tell them that they can’t do something. Garrett is a great example that you can — you just have to keep at it and keep working hard.”
At times even his teammates will give him a hard time about his size. But it’s right about then that Guthrie comes up with a jarring hit or a crucial stop for the defense.
“I just try to play as hard as possible because I know I obviously I am at a disadvantage,” Guthrie said. “I have to play hard, play fast and be aggressive. I want to be the guy that everybody loves watching play and I want to be remembered for that some day.”
“He’s just an exciting kid,” Barnard said. “He does everything we want and he does it with out any complaints. ... I got the chance to coach him on defense last year and he was a lot of fun to coach. Coach (Trent) Worley is working with him this year and he’s been really pleased with the way he’s played so far.”
Perhaps even more impressive is that Guthrie isn’t a linebacker by nature. Through his junior season Guthrie played safety before moving to linebacker out of necessity.
“It was something that he wanted to do last year and we let him do it in jayvee,” Barnard said. “He was a safety last year and he just felt more comfortable being closer to the ball. He was able to come forward and play aggressively. ... He’s an aggressive mentality kid and it really just fit his personality better.”
He may not have the size of the typical linebacker, but he certainly showed he has the mentality. Guthrie recorded a team-high 12 tackles and two sacks against Ponca City in the district opener.
“I was always played defensive back until this year, so I’ve never really got sacks before,” Guthrie said. “The first few are definitely the most exciting, but hopefully I can get used to that feeling.”
With the heart of Rudy and the drive of a runaway locomotive, Guthrie says he hopes to one day be the player fans will be talking about for generations to come. Until then he said he’s just going to keep giving his all in practice and try to pick up as much as he can along the way.
“I’m just going to try to get better each week,” Guthrie said. “I’m just going to try to elevate my game a little bit. I just want to keep learning more stuff every week because it definitely helps. By the end of the season, I hope to be one of the guys the coaches use as an example in future years.”