Apollo-Ridge's Tipton a thrill to watch
By Bill West
Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Anticipate a thrilling sequence anytime Apollo-Ridge sophomore Tre Tipton touches the football on Friday night, and the seasons to follow.
The 6-foot-1, 152-pound Tipton became a head-turner this fall by breaking big plays for the Vikings. Eastern Conference foes wised up and adjusted their defenses, so Tipton, initially a wide receiver, started to run the ball out of the backfield as well. During the preseason, he also worked in at quarterback while starter Jesse Zelonka recovered from an injury.
Tipton enters the playoffs with 35 receptions for 632 yards and nine touchdowns. He also has 15 carries for 129 yards and three touchdowns.
Q: Have you always been a guy who scores on the big plays, or is this kind of a surprise to you?
A: I've been kind of known as an athlete in school, but I was never able to show it because I was always kind of shy and in the background. And now that coach (John) Skiba has given me the opportunity to be the person that I know I can be, that he knows I can be, that my team knows I can be, I just took the chance.
Q: Where did that shyness stem from?
A: The shyness from last year was we had a team, but we weren't together as brothers as much I'd have liked us to be. This year, we're always there for each other. … It's like no matter what happens, my team has my back. And if they feel nobody can stop me, I should feel the same way.
Q: How do you feel about your adjusted role?
A: I really have no problem with it. I just want us to win and go as far as we possibly can. If Coach Skiba needs me to play a position in order for us to win, then I'll do it.
Q: Between you and (sophomore wide receiver) Alex Smith, is there competition for who can have more big plays? I see he has 21 catches for 493 yards and six touchdowns.
A: It's kind of funny, because between me, him and (Zelonka), we all try to see who can make the biggest play. Me and Alex, we've been friends since third grade. We've been on the same basketball and football teams for a long time, so we always see who can do better. We'll laugh about it and just talk about the future and what it could hold for us. We just want to see the best in each other.
Q: What's your biggest superstition before a game?
A: I have a lot, actually. One big one is I have to have double socks. If I don't have double socks, I feel uncomfortable in my shoes and it's like I can't run as fast. And another one is I have to have a cross drawn on the back of my arm, just to show that God is always with me.
Q: What's one thing most people don't know about you?
A: I love music. I love writing music and making music. If I was able to learn the piano and play it very well, I probably would.
Q: Have you written any songs related to A pollo-Ridge football?
A: Yes, I have. It's called “Truth be told.” Most of our school has heard it. It's basically about how we never give up, no matter what the situation is.
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