By Jacob Hancock
The Daily Record of Dunn
FOUR OAKS — Josh Schindler is the prototypical quarterback. He has a strong arm, he’s confident and he has a steady head on his shoulders both on and off the field.
“He’s just an awesome kid,” South Johnston football coach Matthew Riggsbee said of Schindler. “His parents need to be really proud, and I know they are.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Schindler is South’s leader. He’s been under center since he was 8 years old. He said he always wanted to play quarterback because he likes to be involved in every play. That’s probably why he’s also a catcher for South’s baseball team.
Even Schindler’s dream choice of celebrity dinner guests resembles that of a quarterback: Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Adam Sandler. That’s two all-time great quarterbacks with a combined nine Super Bowl rings, along with the actor who starred in two popular football comedies: “The Waterboy” and “The Longest Yard.”
Most of the time, Schindler tries to keep it simple: go through the progressions, find the open man and make the easy pass. But his favorite part of being a quarterback is when he gets to chuck one deep. He gets a big grin just picturing the cheers of the crowd.
Schindler heard those cheers in Oct. 19’s 58-10 homecoming victory over Smithfield-Selma when he hit Jawuan Smith for a 43-yard bomb. Schindler also ran for a touchdown on the opening drive, and threw another touchdown — a screen pass to Heze Bailey for 22 yards.
“At the beginning of the season it was a little bit of a struggle,” Schindler said. “But as we’ve progressed through the season, playing harder and harder teams, it’s made us connect more, and right now we’re clicking.
Schindler is averaging 120 yards passing per game. Through Oct. 19, he had 1,054 total yards of offense this season, including 960 yards passing, 83 yards rushing and one 11-yard reception for a touchdown. He had 12 total touchdowns in eight games. Schindler also touts an impressive 9:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
“Most people didn’t think we’d be as good as we are,” Schindler said. “I just want to keep surprising them. We definitely think we can make the playoffs and make a deep run.”
Right now Schindler’s focused on finishing out his final football season, but he’s got a plan for the future. He plans to attend Florida State University and study mechanical engineering — something he’s known he’s wanted to do since freshman year.
“I thought a lot about baseball and football,” Schindler said. “If something opens up, I might take it. But [Florida State] is my dream school. I want to get a really good education.”
Here are some of Josh Schindler’s favorite things:
Favorite song: “Hall of Fame” by The Script
Favorite team: Carolina Panthers
Favorite athlete: Tom Brady
Favorite sports brand: Nike
Favorite subject: Math
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite restaurant: Kobe’s in Smithfield
Favorite teacher: “Ms. Kim Denning, even though I never had her.”
Favorite sport: Football and baseball
Ideal dinner guest list: Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Adam Sandler
Ideal group to survive a zombie apocalypse: Michael Strickland, Collin Fite, Christian Pollard, my stepdad.