Just a few weeks into the season, some high school players are already turning heads We stopped in Marion this week to hand out our first Player of the Week award.
Marion started 2012 with a bang, beating Smyth County rival Chilhowie 38-15 thanks to a herculean effort from running back Ethan Richardson.
The senior ran the ball 32 times for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
"Last Friday night was one of the best games we had in a while and it really meant something to beat them," Richardson told us.
The Scarlet Hurricane's head coach and offensive coordinator Joey Carroll said the game plan wasn't for Richardson to carry it over 30, times but once he got started coach kept feeding the beast. "[When] you have a guy that is averaging 9.2 yards per carry, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out let's keep giving him the football," he said.
The success Richardson has on the football field is a tribute to all the hard work he does off the field preparing for Friday nights.
"He's one of the hardest working young men I've been around," Carroll said. "He is fearless and a fierce competitor."
With his success on the field, Richardson is a role model for the youth in Marion who one day want to be just like him. That's a role he doesn't take lightly. "A lot of the rec league kids look up to you and you have to set an example for them," he told us. "A lot of them congratulate you and say how they want to model themselves after me. I try and be a good example for them."
After rushing for nearly 300 yards in his season opener, Richardson knows what he has to do to top his week one performance: "Go for  I guess," he laughed.