Check out Starr’s Mill senior Satchel Goodrich’s 2014 highlight reel:
By Gabriel Stovall
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Football comes naturally to Satchel Goodrich.
His dad and grandfather both played and coached, as did his uncle and his brother Elijah — the latter having played on the 2010 Starr’s Mill team that lost to Chattahoochee in the Class AAAA championship game.
So it’s in his blood.
Perhaps that’s the reason why even though it’ll say “WR” next to Goodrich’s name on a roster, he’s more aptly described as a slash player for the Class AAAAA No. 5 Panthers — which is exactly the wayne prefers to be defined.
“My freshman year I played quarterback for my JV team, and then I played wide receiver and corner as a sophomore on varsity,” Goodrich said. “Then my junior year they moved me to corner, and now I play wide receiver and corner. I don’t know, I was just always brought up that way. To do whatever it takes for the team, and to give God the glory while doing it.
“Plus I love the game of football anyway, so as long as I’m playing, I’m okay.”
Satchel Goodrich loves football. He loves Starr’s Mill and he loves his family, and it just so happens that all three seem to fit together nicely.
For instance, the Panthers defeated Whitewater 21-7 this past Friday — a game where Goodrich showed his versatility with several 50-plus yard punt returns, a couple of catches, a couple of tackles and an interception — and when the game was over, a sense of relief washed over him on behalf of the entire Starr’s Mill program.
“We’ve only beaten Whitewater three times in our school’s history,” he said. “And that was the first time we’d beaten them in my career here and since I was like in the seventh grade and my brother played.”
He’s kind of a throwback kid that loves high school rivalries more than tracking how many stars the recruiting gurus have placed behind his name. Hence his choice for his highlight moment at Starr’s Mill — other than beating Whitewater, of course.
“It’s probably when I scored the first touchdown against McIntosh last year,” he said. “I can’t remember the play call, but I ran, like, a backside post and their safety came flying up to our tight end who ran a little dig. And we just tossed it over his head and I caught it. Then we demolished them 42-7, so that was pretty great stuff.”
But come Friday, Goodrich will get the chance to add another chapter to his book of memorable rivalries — this time with a sibling twist.
His brother Elijah is in his first year coaching outside linebackers at another county rival, Fayette County High, and as juiced as Satchel was to play Whitewater, he’s thinking that Friday’s game against the Tigers could be even bigger.
“I was excited for Whitewater, but I think this game I’ll be about as much excited if not more,” Satchel Goodrich said. “It’ll be the first time our sibling rivalry has really counted for anything.”
And the trash talk has already begun.
“Oh yeah,” Goodrich said. “We’ve been texting back and forth about it all day long already. He’s saying he’s watched film on me and us, and I’m saying I’ve watched film on them. I know if I beat him, he will never live it down. He’ll hear about it at every family dinner and holiday gathering for the rest of our lives.”
Interestingly enough, when asked who his favorite player is and which football athlete he most patterns his game after, it was his rival with the Goodrich name who was the answer.
“My brother, he wasn’t always the most athletic or the biggest or the fastest, but he worked his butt off on the field and in the weight room to be the best he could be,” he said. “And that’s what I try to do.”
It seems like it’s starting to pay dividends, too — both for his team which is considered a dark horse state champion contender this season — on the college scene. While not garnering any offers yet, Goodrich’s play has prompted the likes of Jacksonville State, West Georgia and Lenoir Rhyne to express strong interest.
Right now, however, his current season with his current team is all that matters for Goodrich. He said he feels better about this year’s version of Starr’s Mill football than any other he’s been apart of, and he’s excited about getting the chance to check off team goals one by one.
“For us, personally, our first big goal was to beat Whitewater,” he said. “We were able to do that. And then we wanna go undefeated and claim a region championship.”
As the quintessential team player he strives to be, Goodrich hasn’t thought much about quantifying his personal success into a set of stats and yardage.
For the three-sport athlete — Goodrich also plays basketball and runs track for Starr’s Mill — his tangible success on the field is for a more intangible entity off of it.
“I just love to stay busy in sports and compete,” he said. “The whole 100 percent thing — me giving 100 percent — comes from the faith aspect that’s important in my life. The word (of God) says in a lot of ways that we must give 100 percent in everything we do, and that we do that to give all glory to God. And I just go out and try to apply that to everything I do in life.”