It wasn’t that long ago when Broadmoor High offensive tackle Michael Vick Jr. was making like his famous NFL namesake and running around as a quarterback in BREC’s youth football leagues.
The biggest challenge for Vick, then a 12-year-old, was to be able to lose enough weight a night or two before a game in order to make the required weight designated for those carrying a football.
Of course, when Vick sprinted around end, or through the line, he was greeted with chants of, “Michael Vick is running, Michael Vick is running” in much the same daring manner as Michael Vick did with the Atlanta Falcons and now the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, the younger Vick eventually realized his true passion wasn’t attached to the more glorified positions on the field, those with the ball in their hands, and instead opted to be the one leading the way and clearing the path for the yards to be gained and the touchdowns to be scored.
“I wasn’t a very good ball handler and I decided I would rather block,” Vick said. “It’s worked out for me.”
That it has.
Vick has found himself entrenched as a starting offensive tackle for the past three years for a Broadmoor program that’s progressed from an 0-10 team two years ago to one riding the crest of a three-game winning streak and receiving votes in this week’s Class 4A poll.
The play of Vick at strong-side tackle is among the reasons the Buccaneers are off to a 3-1 overall start and 1-0 mark in District 6-4A heading into Friday’s key showdown at No. 4 Lutcher (3-1, 1-0).
“He’s not real tall, but he has the greatest leverage, and he’s getting better and better with his technique,” Broadmoor football coach Rusty Price said of the 5-foot-11, 250-pound Vick. “He’s the best we’ve got. There’s no doubt about it. When we have to have a definite push we’re going to try and go over him.”
The veer offense has long been a staple of Price’s 27-year career while at Broadmoor; and the success of the offense, like most units, is predicated on the play of the offensive line.
While Broadmoor has enough skilled athletes such as junior quarterback Joshua Rogers to rival most of their opposition, the Buccaneers haven’t been as fortunate when it comes to the offensive and defensive lines.
Price said he uses six to seven linemen from a roster of 30 players to formulate his fronts on both sides of the ball.
“We only have one team as far as linemen are concerned,” Price said. “That’s one big disadvantage you have when you don’t have a lot of numbers.”
With a greater commitment to the summer offseason program, Vick helped to distinguish himself among that group and went on to earn second team all-district honors in 2010. That trend continued this past summer where Vick has more than doubled his lift in the squat to 450 pounds over two years ago.
“This summer our weight room was very competitive,” Vick said. “We pushed each other and it was a team effort. I think I’ve improved a lot with technique and my speed but there’s still plenty room to improve.”
That appears to be the same mantra Broadmoor’s lived by since it encountered last year’s disappointing news that its 5-5 record didn’t translate into a state playoff appearance.
They appear to be on the right track toward making amends for that heartbreak of a year ago.
The Buccaneers, who are in search of the program’s first playoff berth since 2008, followed up a season-opening 20-6 loss to Denham Springs with victories over a pair of Class 5A teams in Walker and Live Oak, and opened league play with a 309-yard rushing output in a 32-14 win over Belaire - setting the stage for Friday’s trip to Lutcher.
“We haven’t been 3-1 since I’ve been here and it’s a great position to be in,” Vick said. “My goals are to win out, win district and go deep into the playoffs.
“I’ve tried to step up my game and also tried to help my fellow teammates do the same.? If we step up our game as a team, we can really make things happen.”