No one expected foreign exchange student Noah Sims to be playing quarterback for Cooperstown this season.
Not even Sims.
"I just wanted to jump in and play as much as possible, wherever the coach told me to play," said Sims, an Australian who went from practice back-up QB to opening-day starter under first-year Cooperstown coach Mark Segina.
"After our scrimmage, (Segina) said I would start at quarterback," Sims continued. "To be honest, I was surprised."
Segina said he couldn't really believe it, either.
"I didn’t really think that it would be possible to teach someone with NO football experience all the ins and outs of the QB position," Segina said. "How to read coverages, look off safeties, run the progression, find and know the seams and holes in various coverage shells and how to recognize them, etc. That’s just the mental pre-snap read stuff, not the timing aspects that our offense is based on.
"What Noah is willing to do is devote all the time and effort after practice, on his own time, to learn all this information," Segina continued. "I sometimes wonder just how good he would be if he had the typical senior’s progression of Pee Wee, modified and then two years of varsity experience prior to this year."
Although Sims, 17, is listed as a senior, he'll actually have two more years of school when he returns to his hometown of Tatura — about two hours from Melbourne, Australia. Thanks to football, his homecoming in January should be a warm one, too.
"He said I wasn't allowed to come home if I didn't play football,"
Sims said of his 15-year-old brother, Bellamey. "But I always wanted to play it if I
had the chance. I love to watch it whenever I can. At home, we are lucky