Published: 07:42 PM, Tue Aug 07, 2012
Westover's Kendall Lindsey adapts to new positions after move from QB at Seventy-First
It doesn't take long to realize that Kendall Lindsey, technically new to the Westover football team, has firmly implanted himself in the team's chemistry.
Some signs are obvious. When a coach whistles a play dead and a teammate keeps running, Lindsey is hovering over him in an instant, yelling, "Stop," in chorus with the coaching staff.
Other signs are more subtle. For instance, when Lindsey talks about the Wolverines' chances for success this season," he says, "I have the opportunity to help my team win more games than we won last year."
That "we" is telling because Lindsey wasn't actually on the Westover football team last year.
After starting at quarterback for Seventy-First his freshman and sophomore years, Lindsey scrapped football and moved to Westover as a junior last year to play the sport he considers his first love.
"I came here to play basketball," Lindsey says. "When it came time to play football, I just wanted to focus on basketball."
But after a year of dedicating himself to just one sport, Lindsey has returned to the football field in the interest of diversifying his options.
"I knew my roots, so to speak," the senior says. "I knew what I was good at and what would give me the best opportunity to go to college. And that's football."
But lining up as a Wolverine won't be quite the same for Lindsey as it was when he helmed the Falcons' offense.
In coach Bob Paroli's run-dominated system, Lindsey saw few chances to showcase his arm. He averaged 573.5 yards per season in his two years there.
"That was kind of fun, actually," Lindsey said. "We didn't throw a lot, so it was like I got maybe one chance to shine a game."
A variety of Lindsey's talents will likely be on display this season. New coach Greg Bryant has said that while Lindsey might take some snaps, he'll find himself at wide receiver and strong safety in most situations.
Lindsey says adapting to multiple positions hasn't been hard.
"I played defense when I was younger," he says, "And I watch a lot of football, so I can pick up most things. If you show me something, chances are I'll be able to pick it up in one or two plays."
The Wolverines will be counting on Lindsey's short learning curve to help the program, which could be on the upswing after a couple of down seasons.
When Lindsey decided to return to football, he found himself at a school with a program in flux. While Seventy-First had finished 12-1 and made it to the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs in his last season there, Westover had won five games in two seasons.
Bryant, who had worked as an assistant at Jack Britt for three years, had only recently been named to replace coach John MacDonald.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the program, Lindsey says he never considered another transfer to a school with more recent success.
"I heard that Coach Bryant was coming from Jack Britt," Lindsey says. "I thought that might be a good system for me to be in. And lo and behold, it is a good system for me to play in."
Lindsey says his comfort level is high and that he's eager for the start of his first football game in nearly a year and a half. Mostly, he's excited to contribute as a player and as a veteran.
"I feel like I'm a part of the team because of the position that I've been in since I came here," Lindsey says. "I have to be a leader."
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at 609-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.