Gould is Midland's lone Knight
INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Gage Gould admits he's carrying a heavy burden.
The defensive lineman is the only player from West Virginia's Class AAA Cabell Midland football team to represent the Knights in the North-South Football Classic, which kicks off at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 15, at University of Charleston Stadium/Laidley Field.
There's no doubt the 6-foot, 250-pound Gould is qualified to be one of the 35 team members for the South. As a senior he accumulated double-digit sack numbers and averaged about 15 tackles per game, while playing for a team that was rated No. 1 in the state in Class AAA for most of the season, and didn't lose a game until the state final, finishing 14-1.
The question, at least in Gould's mind, is why he's the only Cabell Midland player to make the all-star roster.
"There's a lot of weight to that. I really don't know what to say about it," Gould said, giving a diplomatic expression. "I kind of wish there was someone to join with me. I'm the only one representing Midland so I've got to do my best at it."
No doubt Gould will do just that. His quiet nature off the field versus the beast he becomes on the gridiron has been well documented.
When being interviewed by a reporter in October, Gould had to turn away from his teammates as his face flushed with slight embarrassment as they teased him.
Nothing's changed in the intervening months.
Tuesday, during the North-South Classic media day, Gould had to turn his back to players from Woodrow Wilson and George Washington who will be his teammates on Saturday night.
"It's all good, we're all buddies," he said. "We've known each other for two days but it feels like we've known each other for years."
Many of those players are former opponents Gould has gone up against on the field over the past few seasons.
"On the field and off the field they're totally different people, and I know people have said that about me," he said. "We have our talks about the games we played in, good and bad, but we all joke around about it at the end of the day."
Gould plans to play football at the collegiate level, though he hasn't picked a school yet. Right now, he's focused on Saturday night, and carrying the banner for Cabell Midland football.
"I've been waiting for this for months," he said. "As soon as I got the letter, I signed everything and sent it back in the mail that same day.
"We've been practicing since Sunday, and all we've talked about is getting the win, just going out there and doing whatever we have to do to get that win."