Jared Icenhower makes early impact in powerful program

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As a freshman football player, Jared Icenhower was a dual threat for Point Pleasant High School this season.
On one side, Icenhower was the starting quarterback for the Big Blacks’ junior varsity team, which posted a 4-3 record.
“We did pretty well,” he said. “We didn’t start off very well, but we just kept building and we got better throughout the season. I liked how we became closer as a team and worked through the difficulties.”

Easing in

On the other side, Icenhower played for Point Pleasant’s varsity, one of the top prep teams in West Virginia year in and year out.
In addition to playing QB for the varsity Big Blacks, Icenhower’s offensive skills also came into play at wide receiver.
“I’d switch in and out at receiver,” he said. “And at quarterback, a lot of games we were winning by quite a bit so I got in during the second half almost every game. I was confident when I went in there and did my job. I think I did pretty well.”
How good was Point Pleasant the last four years? How about a perfect 39-0 in the regular season with four straight quarterfinal playoff appearances.
Breaking in to such a strong varsity program can be a challenging task for a freshman, but Icenhower was more than ready to make the step up in class.
“Playing varsity, the speed was the biggest difference,” he said. “It’s so much faster playing varsity, and there’s more pressure. But I just told myself to relax and I did. I was confident in myself and I just went in there and played.”
The Big Blacks averaged almost 50 points a game while winning their first 11 games before falling to James Monroe High School in the playoffs.
“Tough loss,” Icenhower said. “But we had a great season. We’re pretty good. Our offense is really good. We play really fast. We run a hurry-up offense and score a lot of points.”

Bright future

With Icenhower on the varsity for the next three seasons, look for Point Pleasant to remain a powerful program in the Mountaineer state for the foreseeable future.
“I think I’ll benefit a lot from the experience I got this season,” the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder said. “I was nervous at first, but once the nerves got out I started doing really well. I felt confident in myself and knew I could do it. I’ll keep going to camps and work on anything else I need to do. I need to gain more weight so I’ll lift weights and get stronger. I feel like this year kind of helped me get the feeling of what it’s going to be like. I’ll keep working hard at it.”
Icenhower has trained with NFA the past four years, a critical part of his impressive development as a quarterback.
“They have helped me tremendously,” he said. “I don’t even know if I would still be a quarterback today if it wasn’t for NFA. They’ve helped my overall game a lot and I’ve learned so many things from them.”
Before the season, Icenhower made his third trip to the Duel. He didn’t make the finals the first two tries but finished fifth among incoming freshmen in July.
“I wish I would have done better, but I was happy with how I finished,” Icenhower said. “I worked really hard at it in the off-season. I practiced my footwork and technique and I felt really confident going in. I just did it. It built up my confidence quite a bit. I just kept working on my game and felt like I really improved heading into the season.”

 

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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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