Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Bryant's Snyder Jumped at Chance to Be Starting Quarterback

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Bryant's Snyder Jumped at Chance to Be Starting Quarterback

Article excerpt

A football throwing contest at a Paul W. Bryant High School pep rally last fall changed Reed Snyder's athletic career forever.

Snyder, a starting catcher for the Stampede baseball team, was nominated to take part in the contest, and nailed pass after pass through the target.

Later that day, he was approached by a member of the coaching staff to try out for the football team. Snyder went to practice, and less than a week later, he played quarterback in two series during the final junior varsity game of the season.

"I've never played football before, but it helps with arm strength in baseball," Snyder, who started playing baseball at the age of 4, said.

Giving football a try was one thing, but Snyder never expected to land the starting quarterback position with the varsity team, which is exactly what he did.

"He was very coachable. He came in and took the bull by the horns and showed great leadership skills," Stampede coach Eldrick Hill said. "He liked the offense, and he had two of the best receivers in the state, and the offensive coordinator, Al Shipman, did a great job coaching him."

Despite a 1-9 record and no prior experience as a signal caller, Snyder completed 125 of 253 passes for 1,824 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 182.4 yards per game.

"It was pretty rough the first couple of weeks just getting the hang of it," Snyder said. "It's a really up-beat, up-tempo kind of sport, and we run an uptempo offense. Baseball is a slow game, and I've been used to a slow game. You take your time. Halfway into the season I really settled down and focused on passing balls and making good plays."

His favorite targets, wide receivers Zabrian Moore and Andreaz Spencer, helped make those numbers possible. Like Snyder, both receivers saw every little action last year. Moore finished the season with 663 yards on 47 receptions and 11 touchdowns, and Spencer caught 35 passes for 618 yards and 6 touchdowns.

It's no wonder Eldrick Hill referred to the junior trio's performance this fall as their very own coming out party.

Hill returns 26 juniors next season, including running back Rod Washington, yet another player that was discovered in the halls of the high school, and immediately made an impact. …

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