Joey Fisher found out how the other half lives.
When it comes to football, Fisher has been rather anonymous. Anonymous, that is, until Sunday.
“This is pretty cool,” Fisher said. “I’ve never really done anything like this before ... I’m a lineman.”
On Sunday, the freshman Clear Spring lineman got some props for all the grunts of the world by winning the Baltimore Ravens’ team championship in the national Punt, Pass and Kick competition at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens didn’t have much to cheer about as they lost for the third straight week — this time to Denver — but Fisher got what he wanted by winning the 14-15 boys division title.
He finished with an aggregate total of 375 feet, accumulated through distance and accuracy of a punt, a pass and a kickoff.
The total ranks Fisher as sixth on the list of champions from the 32 NFL team competitions. The top four finishers advance to the finals, which are held at a conference championship game in January.
Fisher, 15, won’t be traveling, but it doesn’t diminish anything. After all, he competed in an NFL stadium and was introduced to 74,000 fans while his image was beamed up on a stadium Megatron screen.
That’s one for the linemen.
“I felt really small,” said the 6-foot-4 Fisher. “When I went on the field in the morning, I was speechless. I felt so little.”
He went about his business in the morning competition. After he finished, he joined all the competitors and watched the first quarter of the Ravens’ game on a small screen in a room in the stadium.
Near the end of the first quarter, Fisher was led out to the sidelines, right before he was introduced to the crowd as the winner of the contest.
Suddenly, he had a different feeling.
“It made me feel like a superstar,” Fisher said. “It was really cool. They took us out on the field and they announced all the winners to the crowd. They said there were 74,000 fans at the game and I was up there on the Megatron.”
That’s two for the linemen.
This all comes after he had a pretty successful season playing the defensive line for the Blazers as he tied a school record with 12 sacks last season.
That’s three for the lineman.
The perks came as a little surprise to Fisher, who had some kicking experience as a fifth-grader playing for the Clear Spring Chargers in the Washington County Junior Football League.
Throwing the ball was something different though. Remember, he’s used to having his hand on the ground.
“I just picked up the ball and started throwing it,” Fisher said. “It just came to me. I was surprised on how far I was throwing it, but I was pretty accurate, too.”
The scores are determined by the length of the effort in each discipline minus the distance it strays away from a line that stripes the middle of the field. The distances of a punt, a pass and a kick are added together for the total score.
Fisher was one of 18,000 competitors in the Ravens’ competition. He advanced to the finals by winning a local competition held at North Hagerstown High on Sept. 8 and a regional contest in Westminster on Oct. 6.
Fisher admits entering the competition was sort of a whim, since he didn’t think about it until Ron Thomas, one of his former coaches, told him about it.
Now, Fisher thinks this victory will help him go places.
“I kind of like this,” he said. “It’s getting my name around. I love football and love sports. I hope it can help me get a chance to get some sort of career in football or sports.”
But, there is a Plan B. That will be to go back and win it all again next year.
“Hopefully I can,” he said. “Then I can go and do it at the nationals.”
Fisher punts, passes, kicks way to title
Joey Fisher (December 16, 2012)