High School Sports

2011 Football preview: Rose Hill's Derrick Decker

Four quarterbacks, each looking for something more -- another championship, a shot at starting, a full season, a chance to lead. Here's a look at four of the area's premier QB.

Rose Hill senior quarterback Derrick Decker understands some people consider it odd that he doesn't get nervous before football games. He chalks it up to confidence.

Even as a sophomore, forced into the starting quarterback role after an injury to senior Tyler Shirley, Decker shrugged off any worries.

"I'm confident in what I need to do," said Decker, who is 6-foot-5, 210 pounds. "I felt like I should have been out there playing, so when he got hurt, I thought it was my chance."

That confidence doesn't come from playing quarterback for years. Decker, who was a ball boy for the Rockets while growing up, was a linebacker and running back before high school.

There weren't many quarterbacks in Decker's class when he entered high school, so he moved into the position.

Not a bad move. As a junior, Decker helped lead Rose Hill to a 7-3 record with 1,278 rushing yards, 917 passing and 20 total touchdowns.

Decker's athleticism is what sets him apart.

"As far as a drop-back, throw-it-down-the-field quarterback, he's not that guy," coach Greg Slade said. "But he's the kid that you want the ball in his hands late in the game. He can run the ball as well as throw it, and it's not a bad thing for him to tuck the ball and run."

This season, though, Decker has the added responsibility of this being his team. Not only is he the starting quarterback, he's a senior.

"He's got to step up and own that," Slade said. "He's got to be the one that wants that. That's what we tell all our seniors."

Decker said he's already been leading, showing this is his team.

"I've been with my underclassmen all summer," he said. "It's definitely my team. I didn't sit back and let someone else get them to work."

As for handling the extra responsibility, Decker has embraced his new role.

"It's a good role to have," he said. "If you win, I'm not saying you've won all alone. But if you win, you get the glory. If you lose, it's on you. It's nice to have that responsibility."

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