Garner impresses on gridiron

Speed and endurance are two of the main aspects in a football player’s everyday life.

Sophomore receiver Ronnell Garner first began his football career during the fifth grade, in junior high school.

“I honestly don’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy it,” said Garner.

Garner stopped participating in school-related sports completely until his junior year of high school.

“A student that attended my school in Kansas City, Mo., had passed away on our football field.” said Garner, “My grandma and momma didn’t want me to play anymore.”

Two years later, Garner secured himself a scholarship to Washburn University after meeting with the coaches.

Now, as a sophomore at Washburn University, Garner is impressing his coaches every game, especially head coach Craig Schurig.

“Ronell is quite a person,” said Schurig. “He has a great heart.”

Schurig praised Garner for his constant work effort on field, both during practice and games. 

“He always works hard for our football team and that’s showing this season. He’s done a very good job,” said Schurig.

All the football coaches agreed when Schurig said that.

 “As coaches, we really like that Ronnell is always pushing himself in practice and getting better,” said Schurig.

Garner has a reputation with his coaches as being a player the opposing teams have a difficult time to match up.

“He’s got great speed,” said Schurig, “and is able to go and get the football in an explosive way.”

Schurig also mentioned a special connection between senior quarterback Dane Simoneau and Garner.

“Ronell’s timing with Dane has always been great,” said Schurig.

Now, according to Schurig, their timing is continuing to improve with each and every practice.

A perfect example of this connection was during the home football game on Oct. 15 against thew University of Central Oklahoma. Simoneau threw two touchdowns to Garner en route to six receptions for a game-high 127 yards.

“Our last game was probably one of my most explosive performances,” said Garner. “For me, I really feed off of the team energy, that’s what makes me play harder.”

Currently, Garner leads the team in receiving yards with 598, an average of 85.4 per game. He has 30 receptions and seven touchdowns, second only to DeJuan Beard (31 receptions, eight touchdowns).

Looking past any any opponent is against Garner’s rules while playing on the field.

“You’ve got to play every game as if the opponent is the best team in the league,” said Garner, “and personally, that’s what I play to do—every time.”