Bryce Stancombe finds home at QB

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Bryce Stancombe finds home at QB

As a younger football player in Bloomington, Ind., Bryce Stancombe was typically one of the bigger athletes on the field. In turn, he typically played tight end on offense and defensive end on the other side of the ball.

He moved to quarterback in eight grade but only played the position sparingly. Even as a freshman, Stancombe played a little QB but was mainly on the field at tight end and defensive end.

“My sophomore year, it started to take off,” he said. “As far as wanting to play quarterback, I always felt like that. I grew up watching my uncle and going to his games in high school. I always really wanted to be a quarterback, but I always loved football either way.”

As a sophomore at Bloomington South, Stancombe began the season as the JV quarterback and managed to work his way up to the varsity. He passed for 272 yards in his first start and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Playing quarterback, I just like how the game is in your hands and you can lead your team to victory or pick your guys up when things aren’t going well,” Stancombe said. “It’s just the part of competing, I really like that.”

This past season, Stancombe was the Panthers’ full-time starter at QB and the 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior had a phenomenal year, passing for 2,163 yards and 24 touchdowns. Stancombe completed 177 passes, which was just one shy of the school record set by former NFL quarterback Rex Grossman in 1997. He also played in four fewer games than Grossman.

“That’s kind of cool,” Stancombe said. “(Grossman) was the runner-up for the Heisman at Florida so you always know a little bit about what he did.”

For as good as he was in his first full season as varsity starter, Stancombe wasn’t thrilled with Bloomington South’s 4-7 record. “The last couple of years, our varsity team has struggled,” he said. “We won maybe three games the last three years before this year and this year we won four, so that’s definitely a plus. We won the first round of sectionals but we ended up getting beat after that, which was tough. It’s not really my stats I care about, it’s more that we win. We didn’t win that last game, so that’s what I’m looking at.”

OpC4 experience

With all 11 offensive starters returning next season, Stancombe is looking forward to a better record and deeper run in the playoffs. He already got an early boost by attending NFA’s first annual OpC4 camp held in Tampa in early January.

“I just really like how we go to go down there and, at first, I was really shy around these guys,” Stancombe said. “But as I got to get to know them, I felt like we started to form a team down there. It’s awesome when you go through something difficult with a bunch of guys; it kind of brings you closer. That kind of showed me how teams work and stuff like that. It was a good experience to just compete and learn from the best, really.”

Stancombe started working with NFA in October of 2012, when Founder/President Darin Slack traveled to Bloomington to hone his physical and mental aspects of the position. “NFA’s really helped me with my throwing mechanics, definitely,” Stancombe said. “When I was younger, I always felt like I could throw the football. But when you throw a duck or something, something’s not right and you just don’t know what to fix. With the self correction system Darin Slack’s put in, I can throw a wobbly ball and know how to correct it on the next throw.”

Stancombe hopes to keep throwing passes on a competitive level after he graduates from Bloomington South. “I definitely want to play college football,” he said. “That’s been my dream. I’ve already gotten some letters from Ivy League schools and a couple smaller schools around Indiana. But nothing big yet.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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