- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Chopticon’s Wroble, Messick head to Shenandoah
By JAMES A. McCRAY III
Staff writerMichael Wroble and Michael Messick have been teammates on the football field since the age of 10 and best friends for longer.
When Wroble decided a short time after the end of Chopticon Braves football season to attend and play football for Shenandoah University, he did it alone and put the teammate aspect of the friendship in jeopardy.
However, once Messick was able to view a Shenandoah practice with Wroble and after having a conversation with the coaches, Messick decided to attend the school as well, keeping the two together for, hopefully, another four years.
“That’s my partner in crime,” Wroble said of Messick.
Messick added, “It’s not the same when I don’t play with him. I don’t trust anyone else beside me, but I may have to learn to play with other people. I think we’ll be fine.”
Teammates on the Braves varsity squad for three years and teammates on Chopticon for all four years, the duo formed two-thirds of a formidable Chopticon linebackers core.
Last fall, Wroble and Messick were All-County first-team selections as linebackers and were first and second in total team tackles for the Braves, combining for 169, Wroble with 85 and Messick with 84, respectively.
Both players have played the linebacker position since starting their respective football careers, Wroble at the age of 5 and Messick at the age of 4.
“Attitude and lots of it,” Wroble admitted of what it takes to play the linebacker position.
As both have continually stepped up in the level of play through the years, both will take the step from high school to college together.
“I’m pumped and I am ready to hit some kids,” Wroble said. “I’m just ready to get playing.”
Messick said, “I am very excited and that’s what I worked for in high school, to get to that next level.”
A step to the next level of play in any sport requires an adjustment period and both agreed that the speed of the game will be an adjustment along with another aspect that will be quite relevant and possibly the toughest.
“Probably going up against bigger kids,” Wroble said.
Messick said the speed will be noticeable but added, “The size of the players, they are a little bigger, but their size doesn’t matter.”
The two will not simply be teammates on the field this upcoming fall for the Division-III, Virginia institution, but when they step off of the field, the two will remain paired as dorm roommates for their freshmen years.
“It’s pretty cool because we have been playing together since we were 10,” Messick said. “To go there and be able to play middle linebacker with him is pretty cool.”
After conversations with Shenandoah defensive backs coach Tyrone Bell, Wroble admitted that he is ready to get to onto the college field and when asked what the coaches expect of him, he added, “Four years of football, I guess.”
Under head coach Paul Barnes, Shenandoah was 6-4 overall in 2011 with a 5-2 mark in the USA South Athletic Conference.
Messick mentioned that an additional reason in deciding on Shenandoah was the fact the university offers a good criminal justice program, his expected major.
For a player that people call, “an animal,” by his explanation, Messick wants to step onto the football field and eventually earn playing time.
“I am going to put in all the hard work that I need to put in and hopefully get to start,” Messick said.