Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. and The Putnam Herald are pleased to present this week’s male Gamer of the Week to senior Toby Payne of the Poca High School Football Team.
Poca is 2-0 this season with victories over Nitro and Chapmanville Regional. The first team all-state defensive back from last year is showing his skills on the offensive side of the ball leading the team in receiving with 188 yards and 4 touchdowns against Chapmanville.
“We ran a post route early in the game and scored on it, and then figured they couldn’t stop it, so we just kept running it and scored on it three times,” said Payne.
Payne has amassed an impressive stat line early in his senior season: 10 receptions for 216 yards and 4 touchdowns, 8 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, and on defensive 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack through the first two games.
Coach Ramsey on Payne, “Toby’s without a doubt one of the most talented, level-headed, hardworking kids I have been around. Always has a smile on his face, and one of the first ones in and last ones to leave.” Ramsey continued, “He’s definitely the focal point of what we’re doing offensively, but plays really well within the system. He plays just as well without the ball in his hands as he does with, which speaks to how unselfish he is. Him and his senior class have played a major role in getting our program to where it is now.”
“I feel like a lot of guys have been stepping up this year. Jordan Wolf has played well at quarterback, and Malakai Woodard-Jones has been running the ball well. Then you can’t do anything without the line guys like Jacob Pringle, AJ Dunbar, Gabe Keech, Byron Cunningham, and Chazz Grady,” stated Payne on the success Poca has seen thus far.
Payne has been playing football since he was young. “I like the sport because there is intention in every battle and the game is intense,” he said. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide receiver says he looks to role models in the sport like Travis Kelce, and plans to transition to the tight end position at the next level. Payne is committed to play alongside his older brother Ethan at Marshall next season.
Outside of the game of football, Payne says his older brother Jake has been a great role model and influence in his life. Jake is in the Army and is currently stationed in South Korea.
Please look for other local high school athletes to be named in next week’s male Gamer of the Week Sponsored by Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc., and The Putnam Herald.
AJ White, MS, MBA, CSCS, is an instructor at Potential Plus at Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc.