Ken Seals keeps moving toward next level

Ken Seals and NFA Coach JC Boice

Ken Seals keeps moving toward next level

After finishing in third place among incoming sixth gtraders in NFA’s 2013 Duel in Massillon, Ohio, Ken Seals set a goal for himself.
“Obviously, after last year and going to the Duel and seeing what it was like, I wanted to get ready for it and prepare myself for it,” he said. “It was something I wanted to win really bad so I prepared myself for the competition. I did a lot of training for it. It was something I really wanted to do for myself, to be able to come back to Azle, Texas, and say I won the Duel in Ohio.”
When he returned home after his second trip to NFA’s showcase event, Seals was the champion for incoming seventh graders.
“Winning the Duel, it gives me a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “Going out there and doing so well, accomplishing my goal, I hope I can use that to help my team wins games this year.”
Last season, Seals led the 12U Azle Bulldogs to an 11-0 season, which was capped by a win in the league Super Bowl. The rising quarterback passed for 1,202 yards and 27 touchdowns and he rushed for 1,530 yards and 21 TDs.

Stepping up in class

This year, Seals is playing for Azle Junior High School. The first game of the season is Tuesday.
“I think we’re doing really good so far,” he said. “We’re getting our timing down on the pass patterns and getting the run plays down. It’s been going great.”
Seals is competing with three other quarterbacks for playing time, but given his already impressive resume, he should be under center quite a bit this season.
The Hornets are likely to run the ball much more than they pass, and that’s just fine with the 5-foot-9, 130-pounder.
“So far, the coaches are leaning more toward running than passing,” Seals said. “They haven’t thrown much in the past, but I think they might try throwing it more this year. Last year, I was the best running back on the team and I was getting ball most of the time. I love running, hitting, all of that. I told the coach I can play running back. I’ve never been just a pocket passer.”
A willingness to do whaterver is best for the team has made Seals a big favorite with NFA since he started attending camps two years ago.

‘One of those special kids’

“Ken Seals is one of those special kids you just love to coach,” said NFA Coach JC Boice. “He has raw athleticism, a very competitive spirit and is mature beyond his years in his approach to hard work and preparation. We don’t have a crystal ball at NFA but we do have a very solid grasp of what it take to play at the next level. If Ken continues on his path he has a great shot of becoming a next level QB.
“He attended the Duel last year and placed high, but came back this year determined to win it,” Boice continued. “He worked very hard and kept a constant focus on his goal. It was impressive and I am not surprised in the slightest he ended up winning this year’s Duel for his class. We have become pretty close and I am anxious to see him continue to work hard and develop and see where it all goes. He is a special kid.”
Seals said working with NFA has been a special experience.
“I think they have a great organization,” he said. “I think they are a really great quarterback camp and they’ve been a huge help to me.”
He can pass the ball and he can run it, but Seals does want to make one improvement this season.
“I want to be more of a team player,” he said. “That’s something I feel I could have done better for my team last year. I always care about my team but I just don’t think I’ve been showing it that much. I try to be vocal as much as I can. As a quarterback, that’s something I have to be as much as I can.”



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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