Northwest quarterback returns home for junior season

Posted Monday, Jul. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Members of the Northwest football team describe the locker room atmosphere as a family, as most the team has played together since they were old enough to pick up a ball.

If this team is a family, this season is a family reunion.

After spending all of his childhood in Justin, quarterback Jesse Drummer has yet to play a down of football for Northwest in his first two years of high school.

He moved with his family to Illinois before his freshman year, playing football up north for two seasons before returning to his original home in Texas this spring.

Now, he will have the chance to play for the community that raised him.

“They were sad for me to go [in Illinois], but they knew there was bigger and better things down here for me and it was a better fit down here and everyone kind of understood that,” Drummer said.

The speed of the games in Illinois was similar to Texas, but was more focused on tough, run-stopping defense than the spread-out offenses found in the Lone Star State. While his team worked to incorporate more of a passing game with Drummer under center, he said he knew this was where he needed to be.

Beyond the play on the field, Drummer missed the atmosphere that surrounded Friday night in Texas.

“The community is definitely more involved here than it was up there,” Drummer said. “Up there, it’s more about basketball. Friday nights are exciting up north, but here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are all exciting because everyone is pumped about football.”

Drummer now has the challenge of battling for the starting quarterback spot against long-time friend Dusty Cloud.

However, their drastically different styles might work as a great 1-2 punch working together at quarterback, head coach Bill Patterson said.

Drummer is a pro-style quarterback who relies on a strong arm and a variety of throws to lead the offense down the field. He said he prefers not to run, as it’s not one of his strengths, but he has the ability to pick up a first down should a play fall apart.

Cloud, on the other hand, is a dual-threat quarterback who relies heavily on his ability to make plays with his legs.

With that skill set, Cloud also spends time at running back and wide receiver, which was his main focus through Northwest’s 7-on-7 season this summer.

The Drummer-to-Cloud connection was key in Northwest’s third-place finish in the Southlake State Qualifying Tournament this summer as Northwest fell just short of the goal line for what would have been the game-winning score and the team’s qualifying first-place win in Prosper.

Northwest made it into the Championship Bracket, finishing second in their pool at the state tournament this past weekend, but was defeated in the first round by San Antonio O’Connor.

Although absent for two years, Drummer believes he is on par with his knowledge of Northwest’s system, especially with the time he was able to practice during spring ball.

He’s thrilled to be a part of a fast-paced, no-huddle offense that gives him the ability to orchestrate on the fly.

“It’s a blast,” he said. “As a quarterback, you like to score and throw and run around, and that’s what we do.”

From what he’s learned so far and the conversations he’s had with teammates, he believes Northwest will be on the rise again this season.

“From what I hear from all my friends, they were like, ‘I don’t think we’ve stepped back any from last year,’” Drummer said. “We can keep on winning as many games as we can.”

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