Swanzy puts team before self

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2009

Everyone knows the big names of the 2009 Goshen football team.

Running backs Marcus Jackson and Reginald Foster both have had tremendous seasons and have both been a big reason for the team’s success.

However, there are other players that have been equally as productive for the team this season, yet don’t get the same recognition as some of the big-name players do.

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Heath Swanzy is a perfect example of this.

But he could care less.

He does not care about getting attention or praise.

All the six-foot-one, 233-pound senior offensive lineman cares about is helping his team get a win.

“I can’t explain how much fun this season has been,” Swanzy said during the Eagles’ practice on Thursday afternoon.

“Coming from where we were as a team last season, and then being as successful has we are this season – its feels great knowing that this team helped the [Goshen football program] back to where it used to be.”

In 2008, GHS finished with a 5-6 record and Swanzy described a much different team then how it is today.

“We were fussing a lot with each other when things didn’t go right,” the senior said.

“Now, we encourage one another when things do go wrong – we do what we can to help one another out, and it has really made a difference.”

According to Swanzy’s head coach Bart Snyder, the lineman has been a big part of that difference.

“Heath is a very vital part of this ball team,” the coach said.

“We have a lot of young players on the roster this season, and he has been the kind of player that will help the younger kids out no matter what the situation may be.

“He is an overall good kid and a good leader,” Snyder added.

The lineman is a big reason why the Eagles’ running attack has been as successful this season, as he creates the room necessary for Jackson and Foster to run through.

But that’s not the way he looks at it.

“It feels great to know I am a part of what makes the offense tick, but its an offense – its not just one person making it work.

“It’s a group of guys, who came together and wanted to do their best for the team,” he said.

And that’s what this group of Eagles has done this season.

Last week the team defeated Fultondale 50-32 in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.

The win improved the team’s record to 8-3 and most importantly kept the season alive.

“This has been by far my favorite season of football I have ever been a part of,” said Swanzy, who has been playing since the seventh grade.

“It’s not just because of the success we have had but also because of the family atmosphere we have created here.”

This morning, Swanzy and the rest of his “family” will make the nearly five hour trek to Pickens County, to take on the Tornadoes in the second round of the playoffs.

While Swanzy said he had no pre-game ritual, he said he will be doing something during the drive across the state, which sets his perspectives on things just right.

“I’ll be thinking a lot about the [offensive] plays and what I have to do to help my team win.”

That is exactly the kind of player Heath Swanzy is.

He rather his team get all the glory than himself.

And he is OK with that.