Micah Devine doesn’t even remember the student’s name, but in sixth grade, the coaxing of a random classmate started what would become a lasting obsession for Devine.
“Some boy just asked me if I wanted to play football,” Devine said. “It was just something to do, so I started playing. I’ve been playing it ever since.”
Devine, who was raised in Willisburg, developed a lifelong love for “anything outdoors” early on in his life.
But ever since Devine began playing football all those years ago, he’s noticed that the sport has a certain quality that even the wilderness—or any other sport, for that matter—can’t provide: an almost indescribable family atmosphere.
“In football, you make a real strong family bond with everybody on the team,” Devine said. “It’s just being out there every day during summer camp, out there in the hot, 100-degree weather. There ain’t nobody else out there but everybody on the team. That’s what makes the family so strong.”
And, according to Devine, having a team there to help you get through those unbearable days is what makes it worth “putting on those pads” each and every week.
Without that bonding first, though, the team wouldn’t be able to function properly.
“Football depends on a team working as one,” Devine said. “It can’t be just one person. You’ve gotta believe in everybody to do their job.”
Another crucial aspect is every member of the team giving their all.
And Head Coach Eric Sagrecy thinks that Devine has done this perfectly.
“Micah’s a guy that never misses practice,” Sagrecy said. “He’s consistent, and you know you’ll get great play out of him every week. You can always depend on him. When you’ve got a job that’s gotta be done, he’s one of those guys you say, ‘Micah can do it.’”
Hard work has always been in Devine’s DNA, but he knew he would have to take it to a whole new level to consistently play for the varsity team.
And Devine soon found out what that would take in only his second varsity game, even if he did have to learn the hard way.
“It was the very first play,” Devine said. “I went up to block a guy, and he just flat laid me out. He was looking right at me, and heck, he was smaller than me. He just ran up to me and laid me flat out. That was my welcome to varsity moment.”
After that hit, he quickly learned an even better way to go about blocking and tackling.
“I’ve done a lot of laying out since then,” Devine said.
His strong play was even recognized earlier this year when he earned the MVP trophy at the Don Franklin Auto Alumni Bowl.
He appreciated the trophy, but he cherished the moment that he got to shake former WC football coach Lee Glasscock’s hand.
“It still gives me chills just thinking about it,” Devine said. “Everybody knows him around here, so being able to go out there and shake his hand, that’s the best feeling I’ve ever had playing this sport.”
With the final game of his career inching closer and closer, Devine will soon have to put away his cleats and start thinking about his postsecondary options.
He’s leaning toward something in sports at the moment, but nothing is for sure just yet, although he acknowledged that he “should probably be looking into that a little more.”
Whatever he does go into, though, he knows that he’ll still miss the feeling of having on a WC Commander uniform.
“I’m gonna miss putting on my pads every day,” Devine said. “I’m just gonna miss coming over [to the locker room]. There’s just something about being in here. I don’t know. There’s just something about it. This is the only sport you can get that type of feeling playing.”
But if it wasn’t for that mystery boy six years ago that he’ll never be able to thank, he might have missed the whole journey.