The junior quarterback can do it all for Clearwater Central Catholic.
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published November 11, 2005
Sketch a composite of a complete high school quarterback and chances are it would look a lot like Clearwater Central Catholic's Andrew Nowels.
The first component, of course, would be a strong, accurate arm capable of hitting the deep ball as effectively as lobbing a touch pass into the flat.
"Andrew's got a strong arm but he throws with touch," coach Mike Jalazo said. "He can make all the throws."
Second would be the ability to read defenses and process the intricate verbiage used in CCC's offense.
"The wording of our offense can be tricky and (Nowels) handles it well," Jalazo said. "The kid's a 4.0 student and carries that over to the field."
The third requirement is prototypical quarterback size and speed. Nowels stands 6-4, weighs 215 pounds and runs a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash.
"It's the perfect QB build, really," Jalazo said.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is an intangible not as easily measured as the previous three.
"Andrew just has that leadership-type personality," Jalazo said. "He's a natural."
Size, speed, arm strength and smarts can take a gifted QB a long way, but the best signal callers are also the best leaders. Nowels, a junior, has spent the past two years earning and cultivating the Cougars' respect, resulting in his status as team leader.
"To get respect you have to give respect and that's what I've tried to do," Nowels said. "When you have their respect, they believe in what you can do."
On the field, Nowels wasted little time earning that respect. Last year, Nowels' first pass of the season was a 45-yard completion to Riley Cooper in CCC's upset win against Hernando. In the locker room, Nowels honed his ability to read and motivate teammates, such as big-time prospects Colin McCarthy, Ronnie Harris and Cooper.
"I wasn't a vocal guy initially, but as (my sophomore) year went on, I learned when to speak up and when to step back a little," Nowels said.
Nowels' quest to lead CCC (8-2) to a state title begins tonight at home against Crescent City (5-5).
"Every team in the playoffs is good," Nowels said. "We just have to fight, hit them hard and stay hungry."
Spoken like a true leader.
All games start at 7:30 p.m.
6A, 5A, 4A and 3A are region quarterfinals; 2A, 2B, A and B are region semifinals.
Dixie Hollins (8-2) at Countryside (9-1)
Dunedin (7-3) at Largo (8-2)
Tarpon Springs (8-2) vs. Rockledge (7-3)
St. Petersburg Catholic (7-3) vs. West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman (6-3)
Clearwater Central Catholic (8-2) vs. Crescent City (5-5)
Shorecrest (6-3) at Belle Glade Glades Day (6-2)
Keswick Christian (8-2) at Orlando First Academy (8-2)