Football has been a family sport for the Whipkers at Seymour High School.
Jared is a senior offensive lineman for the Owls this fall. His father, Scott, played for the Owls when he was a student at Seymour, and Scott’s two brothers also played football here.
“It just keeps going through traditions,” Jared said. “I’ve been playing since I was about 5. I’ve always played tackle, and I’m playing guard currently. I started on the offensive line at right guard last year.”
Whipker, along with Nik Richert, Coby Shepherd and Cailen Shepherd, return as starting offensive linemen from last fall.
“We always practice together, so we’re used to how each other plays through drills and stuff. We’re used to being in sync too,” Whipker said, and added that it doesn’t make any difference to him if he faces a 3-man or 4-man front.
“It doesn’t really bother me that much for either front. It depends on the player and what their play skill is. If they’re a good player and they’re running a certain gap we’ll make a certain call and try and get help on that.”
Whipker said his blocking assignment depends on the play call.
“It could be the nose, or the tackle over top of me,” he said. “I pull a little bit. There is certain game planning for different teams. “(Blocking assignments) depend on the defensive set up sometimes, but it could be either or.”
The Owls won five of their final seven games last fall, and Whipker said he looks for that momentum to carry over.
“I’m going into the season looking to keep that momentum going forward into the year, further than the sectional this year,” Whipker said.
For Whipker, the success starts on the practice field.
“Practice is important,” Whipker said. “You’ve got to be prepared to win. If you don’t prepare you may not even have a good chance to win. You just can’t walk into the game hoping for the best situation ever to come out. We’re well prepared.
“We watch film on Monday of the previous game and watch a little bit of the next (opponent), and we’ll walk through what we want to game plan for this week’s game. We’ll watch film throughout the week to get to know the situations better.”
The entire team attended a camp at Mitchell, and several players also attended a camp in Michigan this summer, and Whipker said he felt like those experiences brought the team closer together.
He said he believes the team is stronger because of weightlifting three times a week all summer, and in good physical shape because of doing a lot of running.
In 2016, Whipker said he expects to Owls to have a winning season.
“I have pretty high expectations for our whole senior class,” he said. “We have a pretty good team, I believe, and I don’t see why we can’t reach some high goals this year.”
Whipker said the sectional wins against Franklin County and Silver Creek are the highlight wins for him
Upon graduation, Whipker said he will cherish the friendships made at Seymour High School.
“I’ve enjoyed my four years here even through I’ve not been with all my friends from Immanuel,” Whipker said. “I’ve made new ones and made friendships that will last forever. Making friends is probably one of the best things about football.”
What: Seymour (0-0) at Silver Creek (0-0)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Silver Creek field
Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon WXKU
Most recent meeting: Seymour won 40-21 (sectional) on Oct. 30, 2015.
Series past 30 years: 1-1
Name: Jared Whipker
Parents: Scott and Tammy Whipker
Siblings: Brian, Sarah
Sports: Football, four years; basketball, two years
Organizations: Car Club
Plans after high school: Attend college
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite TV show: “Top Gear”
Favorite musician: Jason Aldean
Favorite movie: “The Blind Side”
Favorite team: Ohio State Buckeyes