Friday Night Hero: A.L. Brown’s Colby Reid
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó A.L. Brown senior Colby Reid has a reputation as a guy who catches the tough passes and drops the easy ones.
But scouting reports are subject to change.
Last Friday, Reid hung onto an easy one in a tough situation and helped the Wonders beat Sun Valley 34-31 in a marquee SPC matchup.
“Colby’s one of those kids that’s had to work for four years to get where he is,” receivers coach Empsy Thompson said. “He is unselfish and he’ll always block. Some receivers will take a play off if the ball’s not coming, but Colby’s not ever going to relax. The issue he’s had, at times, is catching the ball. Because of that, he’s come in for some ridicule.”
In Brown’s second game this season, Reid grabbed a 12-yard TD pass from Jamill Lott in the second quarter against South Rowan for a 14-0 lead. All things considered, it was the biggest catch he’d ever made.
The TD came on a good play by Reid. South blitzed, and Reid and quarterback Jamill Lott were sharp enough to make a play. Reid adjusted his planned route. Lott got rid of the ball in a hurry.
“I kinda made up my own route,” Reid said. “I had one touchdown last year, but the one against South meant a lot more. The TD I got last year was in a blowout of the purple team.”
That purple team was Porter Ridge, and the Wonders were on their way to a 66-8 victory.
Reid’s next step up the respect ladder came in Brown’s 23-21 loss to Mooresville. Some of Brown’s key players didn’t perform well, but Reid did. He didn’t have a reception, but he blocked like a demon.
“I blocked the corner on the back-side pretty well,” Reid said. “I’ll block to the whistle. I will go whistle to whistle. That’s something I’ve learned in practice from Coach (Ron) Massey.”
The Sun Valley game loomed as a huge test for Brown, especially coming off a loss. Sun Valley probably is as good as anyone the Wonders will face in the regular season. Reid looked forward to the challenge.
“I really think we needed an ego change, and Mooresville gave us that,” he said. “We were getting too cocky, but sometimes the road to the top is the hardest road.”
The game with Sun Valley at Memorial Stadium lived up to the hype. Brown led 21-7, but then Sun Valley took over. The Spartans scored three touchdowns in the last two minutes of the first half and the first two minutes of the second for a 25-21 lead. Brown was in trouble, and to that point, Reid had been a problem more than a solution.
“Colby had gotten behind everybody on one play,” Thompson said. “Their DB kinda threw up his arm and might have blocked his vision but the ball did clear his arm.”
And then the ball hit Reid right in the facemask before tumbling harmlessly to the ground. Not his best moment.
Undaunted, Reid combined with Lott to make a game-turning play with 9:34 remaining.
“I sort of went to the wrong formation, came back over and took off,” Reid said. “The corner had broken off on a curl route and then I was way behind him.”
Reid was running free, and Lott’s pass was on the money.
Reid had time to think about it, but he didn’t drop this one. He gathered the ball in on the 20 and raced to the end zone. Brown led 27-25.
“Doubled my TDs from last year.” Reid said. “This is exciting, more fun than I ever expected.”
Reid, a strong wrestler, quit the mat squad last season, but then he returned to win enough matches to reach the regional. He learned a valuable lesson.
“I could have qualified for states, but my mind was all over the place last year,” he said. “But then when you’re a senior, you start realizing how important school is and how much potential you have.”
Sometimes, to get to the top, you have to take the hardest road.