First Posted: 10/28/2009
Mount Airy lineman Daryl Valentine is a self-professed quiet person. But while Valentine might prefer to stay in the background in the locker room, the 6-foot, 265-pound senior has been making plenty of noise on the field this season for the 8-0 Granite Bears.
From his defensive and offensive tackle position, Valentine and his fellow hogs have helped the Bears to, more often than not, dominate the line of scrimmage and put opponents in their place.
Valentine has taken on the roll of drain plug on the Bears defensive line. Last season, Valentine was a reserve, playing on the defensive side of the ball behind defensive player of the year Ronald Brown and all-conference performer Jesse Salazar.
Valentine said as a younger player, Brown was a role model on the field.
It was just the way he played, Valentine said. He played hard every play and gave it 100 percent all the time. He went hard for his team and gave it his all.
Even with the loss of several starters, Valentine said he thinks this seasons defense is still very solid.
I think we are doing pretty good, he said. We made a couple of adjustments to help us and we have gotten better. We still havent got the same shutouts we had last year, but I am real confident in the people I am playing with. Ive played with them a long time.
With Valentine holding down the line of scrimmage, Mount Airy is enjoying a distinct advantage on both sides of the ball.
The Bears are giving up just 14 points a game on defense, while averaging 47 points on offense.
Valentine said he enjoys defense more than offense, because like all defensive players, he just loves to hit people.
Last week against Bishop McGuinness, Valentine experienced a career first when he intercepted a Villain pass at the line of scrimmage, something he said was surprising.
As for his, and the defenses, best all-around game, Valentine said he would have to go with Mount Airys 28-21 victory over Thomasville on the road.
Because I played hard and got off the ball quicker, Valentine said was the reason for a successful performance. I had big expectations for Thomasville. I thought they would come out with more of a bang.
Valentine said he is closest with fellow lineman Brooks Mayberry and running back/linebacker Luke Wheeler, and added that Wheeler was the teammate who most motivated him to compete and perform better.
As for a dream job, as most lineman have?
Valentine said he wouldnt mind being able to show off his speed and skills as a receiver.
Id like to play tight end, he said. Yeah, I think I could, but I dont think Coach Price would go for that.
For Mount Airy, thats probably a good thing. Because with Daryl Valentine roaming the line of scrimmage, theres no telling what trails the Bears will blaze just around the corner in the state playoffs.
Contact Thomas Smith at [email protected] or 719-1920.