Both sides of the line: Owl stays busy on gridiron

Nick Richert is one of the busiest players on the Seymour football team this fall.

The reason he doesn’t get much rest on Friday nights is because he is the Owls’ only two-way starter in 2016.

He started at offensive left tackle his sophomore year, and the past two years he has been a two-way starter at left tackle on offense and left end on defense.

Richert said blocking assignments change on every play.

“Especially on run plays, if I open up a hole it’s almost like I’m scoring that touchdown,” Richert said. “I just get jacked. It’s a great feeling. In run block you’re more aggressive so you’re usually taking the first step at them, trying to eliminate space, but in pass pro you want to almost let them come to you and just hold them off, hold them at bay.”

Richert said he has worked hard to clean up his blocking.

“I was pretty terrible my freshman year, but coach (Brice) Darling sure knows what he’s talking about in there,” he said. “If you follow the system you’ll eventually get the hang of it and its second nature pretty much.”

He ranks second on the team in tackles this fall and also has one sack.

“As a defensive end you’re trying to feed the ball carrier back to the rest of the swarm,” Richert said. “You don’t have as much help as you want on the outside, so you want to get everything pinned in, and back into the inside.”

Getting to the quarterback for a sack can change the course of the game, according to Richert.

“The way I think if it, it’s a huge momentum swing,” he said. “The offense just called a play that they thought was going to work against the defense, and the defense just swallows it up in the backfield for a loss and that has got to be a killer for the offense.”

Richert keeps busy at halftimes.

When teams go into the locker room at halftime, not only do they rest up for the second half, but they talk about what went well in the first half, and what corrections they need to make for the second half.

During the week, the offensive game plan is put in on Tuesdays and the defensive game plan is installed on Wednesdays.

The coaches watch film of the upcoming opponent during the weekend, and the players begin watching film of the upcoming opponent on Mondays.

Richert said practice is important.

“Practice really sharpens your focus on that opponent,” he said. “If you didn’t have practice you would be unprepared. You win the games Mondays through Thursdays, not Fridays.”

The senior is a captain on the team this fall.

“It’s just amazing, I really appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from being a team captain,” Richert said. “So far it’s treated me well. I like the extra responsibility.”

Richert, who moved to Seymour going into seventh grade, said he enjoys playing on the turf this fall.

“Everybody always says that the turf makes you faster and I’m a firm believer of that because I feel a lot faster on the turf,” he said. “I don’t roll my ankles as much because on a grass field it’s a lot more likely to roll your ankles.”

A highlight victory for him was winning at New Albany two years ago.

“The one game I will remember, probably the rest of my life, is the New Albany game my sophomore year,” Richert siad. “For me that was a turnaround point in our program. It was great to see all the guys around me and excited and ready to move on to the next one, and hungry for more.”

Richert says he looks forward to competing in track in the spring where he will throw the discus and run the 100 and 200.

“The discus is more of a technique thing,” he said. “My entire high school career I’ve always tried to focus on technique because I’ve never been the biggest guy, so I really like that discus emphasizes technique over strength or just size.

“Sprinting is more football exercise, if you will. I try to stay in shape in the off season, and sprinting is just a great event to be in to keep yourself in shape and have the explosiveness for football.”

Overall, Richert has enjoyed his time at SHS.

“Seymour is just humble people all-around,” Richert said. “It’s a great spot to bring kids in. I don’t think I’d rather be anywhere else than Seymour. All the coaches here really know what they’re talking about, and I definitely believe at the end of my career we will be a better football program than what we were at the start.”

At a glance

Name: Nick Richert

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Jillian and Michael Vaughn

Siblings: Blake, Bryce, Kirsten

Sports: Football, four years; track and field, three years

Athletic highlights: 2014 most improved

Plans after high school: Attend St. Joseph’s for forensic studies

Favorite food: Lasagna

Favorite TV show: “Dexter”

Favorite singer: Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino

Favorite teams: Ohio State, Pittsburgh Steelers

Catch the Owls

What: Floyd Central (2-1) at Seymour (0-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Bulleit Stadium

Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon

Last outing: Columbus East def. Seymour 56-30, Floyd Central def. Madison 51-14.

Most recent meeting: Floyd Central won 35-20 on Sept. 11, 2015.

Series past 30 years: Seymour 10-9.