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West's Rother looks to show how far he's come

By jhornberg
Aug. 30, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.

Rother had his struggles in 2011, his first as a varsity starter. He completed 118 of 230 passes with 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Garrett Rother in 2011

118 for 230, 1,629 yards, passing 13 TDs 14 INTs124 carries, 624 yards rushing, 5 TDs

When Courtney Boyce first got a hold of Garrett Rother, in spring practice in 2010, he had a lot of strides to make before he could see the field.

The West offensive coordinator was sure of one thing: His young charge was going to work to get to that point.

And he hasn't disappointed.

"It's been all him," Boyce said. "His springs have had a huge impact on his development as a quarterback. He's really taken advantage and worked really hard at his craft."

Garrett Rother enters his senior year as the incumbent quarterback, a position he's earned through three years of hard work, learning the offense and, more importantly, learning how to be a leader.

"Garrett's just stayed with it," said West head coach Leonard McAngus. "He went to 7-on-7 that first spring and, with everything that happened, he just took one step toward being a quality football player."

Three years ago, Rother was learning how to harness his physical tools to be the best quarterback he could be.

Today? Not much has changed, based on his summer workouts.

"I was focusing on throwing as much as I can," said the senior quarterback for Victoria West.

There's more to it than that, though.

Rother is entering his third season in Victoria West's offensive system, and what's required of him is well known. Now, entering his final season as at West, it's his job to impart that onto a new group of Warriors.

"Over the summer, I had specific time with the receivers to help them to get the timing down," he said.

Rother put an emphasis on hustle, helping to show a green receiving corps where to break and where he needs them to be on their routes in the Warriors spread offense to get them the ball.

The senior is the stalwart of the offense. This is now his third year in Courtney Boyce's system, four if you count the final year at Memorial when coaches were starting to work with players before it split in two.

"It puts the pressure on me to lead," Rother said. "I have all the experience from last year, and I'm doing as much as I can to get them up to speed."

Boyce will be working with his first returning starter at quarterback in Victoria West's short history. It will be important considering that the Warriors are replacing their top four receivers this year.

Rother time spent in the offensive system allows him to serve as more than another player on the field, but rather as a teacher, too.

"He knows the offense better, and he's becoming more of a leader," Boyce said. "He's becoming more accountable. I would expect him to keep getting better.

"For him, at quarterback, he understands more, and he's able to direct. He can impart more information to the guys on the field."

McAngus speaks highly of the senior quarterback, praising his ability to conduct the offense.

"He's a really intelligent kid, so he really picks things up fast," "And he's serious about what he's doing."

His physical abilities also make him a threat, McAngus said. Not only will the Warriors drop him into the shotgun to pass, they can also turn him loose on the ground as well.

There were growing pains last year. Rother did the best he could, but struggled at times. He completed about half of his passes (118 for 230), with 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He finished the year with 1,629 yards.

The team struggled on both sides of the ball, and lost several close games, including heartbreakers to Gregory-Portland, Beeville and Floresville that could have turned the fortunes of the team around dramatically.

The senior quarterback is determined to change that this year.

"There were a lot of close games we lost by one or two points," Rother said. "We were just unsatisfied with that."

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