Payton Nance is the quarterback of the Comanche Indians; he’s also an honor student, a role model in the Big Indian/Little Indian program, and one of the all around good guys in the town of Comanche, Texas. Today, I sat down to ask Payton about his leadership role with the Indians, how it differs from that same role he held his junior year, and what he hopes younger students gain from watching him play. After all, there are life lessons that can come from the game, right?
“Being a role model to the younger kids is very important to me. You don’t really see that you are a role model until you are put in our position and realize that everywhere you go you are being watched, you have a responsibility to lead kids in the right direction.”
Everybody looks to the quarterback as the team leader and I am expected to be at my best all the time. There is pressure in that, but once the game starts each week, my teammates take it on their shoulders too so I don’t feel like it is all on me. We are really like a family out there.”
“So you’re telling me that it never gets to you?” I asked.
“I guess it did last year, but not really this year. I think that just comes from experience. I’ve done it before, and I know I can get it done this year.”
“That’s a tough one,” he said when I asked if he liked O or D best. “I guess I’d have to say that I like O because I know what the play is and we are in charge. On D, we never know…” Payton trailed off, obviously thinking. “But,” he continued, “there is an intensity on D that we never get on O since we are the one making the hit instead of getting hit. It doesn’t matter how many points we score on O if we can’t stop them on D, we can’t win a game.”
And then I asked about the Cisco game and whether he was surprised by the outcome.
“I think we came out and surprised Cisco, and I think we even surprised the community because you know, Cisco is Cisco. Coach Herm said that the last time we beat Cisco was on the JV team my freshman year. I have no idea how long it has been since we beat them on varsity.”
And as far as what Payton expects for the rest of the season…“I guess we will use the Cisco team as a learning point. We now see that we can compete and we just have to learn from our mistakes.
“After all, anything is possible on a Friday night,” he grinned.