State championship QB moves to defensive back after injury

Jonathan Wall

As most high school coaches will tell you, there's nothing better than winning a state championship and realizing that you could do it all over again next season -- especially when you have your star quarterback coming back for his senior year.

That was the case for Ferris (Washington) High School coming into this season. With then-junior quarterback Ben Goodwin leading the way, the team went a perfect 14-0, winning the State 4A championship in the process.

Needless to say, the team had some high expectations this season with Goodwin back under center. The senior quarterback passed for 1,961 yards, 26 TDs and only five interceptions in 2010, so it seemed logical for him to meet or exceed those numbers this season.

Or so people thought. Like a lot of high school athletes, Goodwin was a two-sport player who excelled in football and baseball. As The Spokesman-Review reported, Goodwin was pitching in a rare relief appearance in a baseball tournament this summer when he felt something pop in his elbow.

After going to the doctor, he was told he needed Tommy John surgery to repair his throwing arm, thereby ending any chance Goodwin had of starting at quarterback and helping his team repeat as state champions.

It also left Ferris head coach Jim Sharkey in a tough spot for the upcoming football season. With his starting quarterback unable to throw a football, Sharkey had to figure out a new game plan for his offense.

But the story doesn't end there. Instead of opting for surgery and sitting out the football season, Goodwin decided he wanted to do something to help his team out. While he couldn't throw a football, foregoing surgery allowed him to play defensive back instead.

"I can't give the same thing I gave the team last year, but it doesn't mean I can't give something," Goodwin told the Spokesman.

As the Spokesman also noted, Goodwin has some past experience on the defensive side of the ball, and having played quarterback, he should be able to read the quarterback's eyes better than most defensive backs.

Despite not being able to be the team's signal-caller this season, it's still impressive that Goodwin is going to forego surgery so he can help his team in another aspect. It's a selfless move that could definitely pay dividends on the other side of the ball.

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