• John Macon Gillespie

Wilcke Has Tigers On The Way Up

The Hernando Tigers were able to take a huge step in the right direction in 2015. Their 7-5 season was due in large part to the play of their junior quarterback, Robert Wilcke.

Wilcke totaled 1,566 yards through the air with 16 touchdowns and added another 1,165 yards on the ground with ten more scores.

“As a team, I believe it was a good season and has us moving in the right direction,” Wilcke told SES Mississippi. “That is the first winning season Hernando has had in five years. Second year with a new coach and getting 7 wins sounds good to me. We should have won a couple more to. Individually, I thought I played pretty well,” Wilcke explained. “I played five games with mononucleosis to. This year was pretty good statistically for me but my senior year I plan on putting up many more.”

Hernando High School is definitely heading in the right direction and it is more than just Wilcke’s physical capability that is taking them there. It is his leadership and drive.

Wilcke put together an outstanding season and did so running and throwing the football. He plays with about as much passion and tenacity as you will find on a Friday night football field. When asked where that drive came from, Wilcke was quick to point to his family and his upbringing.

“What drives me is simply how I was raised and that was to play and do everything to the best of my ability for the glory of God,” Wilcke expressed. “Also my coaches and teammates give me energy and drive I need to succeed.”

The phrase ‘for the glory of God’ is an interesting concept and any athlete worth his salt should dive into the inner workings of the statement.

Wilcke gets it.

“Through all the gifts He has given the players playing the game,” Wilcke said. “Some kids don't have the physical ability to play the game or any for that matter and I'm thankful that I am able to.”

Nowhere in his comments does he mention winning or any kind of awards. The young quarterback is wise beyond his years.

A look back in time to the 1924 Olympics tells a story of Eric Liddell. The Scottish track star was first and foremost a missionary in China. He would spend the majority of his adult life, which ended on February 21, 1945 in China, serving God on the mission field. When urged by family and few churchgoers to forgo the Olympic games and head to China to serve, Liddell responded saying that God made him fast and he runs to feel His pleasure.

Wilcke and Liddell spell it out. The game is a blessing and the joy it brings glorifies the Lord who gave the blessing in the first place.

**Photo by Jim Jarrett.

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