Lexington, a small town of just about 4,700 people near Mansfield, is a farm community that’s played an instrumental role in raising Stover, the country’s eighth-ranked outside linebacker. He committed to the Buckeyes in late April this year, picking Ohio State over Penn State, Notre Dame and 20 other schools. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound athlete is on the verge of becoming his school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, and he will share all of the ups and downs of his senior year with Lettermen Row in this weekly journal.
Before the first day of school, it seems to me that kids today try and cram in all the stuff they wanted to in the summer but missed out on.
I’m a little different when it comes to that. As I said last, though, I think people need to know that I’m a little bit different, period. My Saturdays are filled with film sessions instead of “one last party” with friends, and they begin with a light workout in the morning. When that’s over, I prefer to be home hanging out with my family and then if there’s a chance, I’ll go out and have some fun with my friends. Saturdays and Sundays are my favorite days of the week.
Every Sunday, for as long as I can remember, I have spent outside on the farm working with my dad. I have never been around a man that has the drive and work ethic that my father does. If I wake up at 8:00 a.m. or if I wake up at 5:00 a.m., he’s already outside working.
That’s why I’m always rushing to put my boots on. I have to see what he needs help with, because I can’t let him handle it all alone. Whether it’s mixing feed, getting equipment ready for work or just flat out doing something to stay busy, there’s always work to be done. I know that kids, recruits, people all have others they look up to every day. I am lucky enough to be related to mine.
But school is back, so now the work changes a bit. My first week of school has started, and we’re back in full swing. This is my senior year, so I’ve already taken most of the stuff I need to and what the school has to offer. I am left right now with a lot of art classes, so that takes up the majority of my time in school. I think it’s cool how, if you’re a freshman or a senior, the first day of school always has surprises and nerves. It’s crazy how everyone grows and looks different in just two months of summer break. I know a lot of people aren’t happy about the first day of school, and my youngest sister Tatum was the most upset of anyone I know, because the first day of school was her birthday. She just turned 11-years-old, even if she thinks she’s 17 most of the time.
As I think more about my summer, the daily grind of work, I think that’s one of the reasons I connect with the “brotherhood” of sports so well. I can’t let my dad do the work alone, and I can’t let my teammates do it, either. It’s now week one of the football season, and that always is such an emotional feeling for me. It’s rivalry week, too. This is why we run the hills. do the squats, the sprints and worked through August like we did — all for Week 1.
Practice this week, on Monday, was about getting laser focused and understanding personnel, strengths and weaknesses of our opponent. Every spare minute is used to watch film. We will be prepared both physically and mentally. I can’t put into words how excited I am for this season, to see what it brings.
This is my last go ’round, and I’m going to make it count.
Go Bucks. Thanks for reading everyone. See you next week.