PLAYING Head games

For The Tribune

Playing football and golf at Brownstown Central, Jakeb Webber said he believes sports helped his social life.

“For me, it’s been more about developing myself as a person,” Webber said of his experiences playing sports.

“Athletics have kind of been a way for me to be more social. I tend to be a little bit anti-social. Sports were a nice way for me get out and do things with friends and other people, rather than just trying to force myself into situations.

“Golf has helped me get over my sort of obsession with perfection because golf is an imperfect game, so I learned how to move past even when things aren’t like they need to be, or the way I wanted them to be, and I tried to get past that.”

In golf, Webber believes a strong start is important.

“It’s helpful, but I’ve kind of taught myself over pretty much all my golfing, that if it doesn’t go the way you want it to, you’ve got to move past it,” Webber said. “Even if the first hole entirely goes south you have to be able to go on to the next hole and say ‘this is a new hole and I’m going to do better this time.’’’

On the greens is where Webber plays best.

“Probably putting is the most consistent part of my game,” Webber said. “I didn’t have too much trouble with by tee shots and my putting. When we had a cross wind we worked on knock down shots. We wanted to make sure the wind didn’t take the ball too much.”

Webber said his lowest score at Hickory Hills was a 45.

“I’ve been playing golf quite a while and picked up football in fifth grade,” he said.

In the fall, Webber played center on offense and defensive end for the football team.

“What I enjoyed about (offense) was kind of the sense of having control over what was happening,” Webber said. “We had a pretty good offensive feel.”

He admitted blocking was the hardest part of playing offensive line.

“Both (pass blocking and run blocking) are pretty tough,” Webber said. “It’s hard to say you like something when it is really hard to do. You just wanted to make sure you were putting fourth your best effort.”

On the line, Webber had a number of responsibilities.

“There’s not a whole lot of difference between right end and left end,” Webber said. “You’ve just got to make sure you know what you are doing. The responsibilities are pretty much the same.

“Our job was to make sure we got our hands on the tackle ahead of us, and then we played based on what he was doing. He always led us to where ever we needed to go.”

Webber attributed the Braves’ success to coach Reed May.

“We’ve had a pretty good program under him,” Webber said. “We spend a lot of time in the off-season preparing. During the season we watch a lot of film and continue working out.”

Spending the extra time with weights helped Webber on the field.

“The weight room was definitely helpful in getting stronger and pushing yourself,” Webber said. “I was pretty good at squats. I think power clean was probably the most fun one to do. In power clean 235 (pounds) was my max lift.”

In sports, Webber tried to maintain composure at all times.

“The mental (aspect of sports) is one of the most important part of any sport,” Webber said. “Practice is invaluable. It’s hard to do anything well if you aren’t willing to practice. That’s where you make your improvements, in practice.”

At a glance

Name: Jakeb Webber

Parents: Melanie and Walker Ritz

Sports: football 4 years, golf 4 years

Athletic highlights: football- helped team win sectional and conference titles; golf- helped Braves qualify for regional in 2014

Favorite away golf course: Harrison Lake.

Organizations: National Honor Society, German Club

Plans after high school: attend college

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite movie: Forest Gump

Favorite athlete: Andrew Luck

Favorite team: Colts

Favorite quote: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying,” – Michael Jordan