Mike Noftle; The Edge Washington
“Is it a sickness or a gift? Blessing or a curse? What would drive a grown man to take to the road travelling hundreds of miles to cover 5 Prep Football Games in one day? Come to the Edge and find out!”
Editor’s Note: These are the writing of a football junkie. A man after my own heart. This is Assistant Football Analyst Mike Noftle’s Bio. Catch his Stories from the edge weekly right here.
Hello fellow football-aholics. Isn’t this the most wonderful time of the year? Dirk has asked me to lend a hand this year as Football Assistant Editor. My primary focus will be covering the fine athletes, coaches, and football programs in the smaller classifications.
I look forward to taking part and workingto shed a light on all of the hard work, dedication, and passion that make high school football my favorite sport.
I live on the “Eastside” of the State in Royal City, Washington. I am the father of 5 wonderful children and husband tothe most patient woman to ever walk the planet. I have an illness that tends to flare up the most at this time of year as the Summer closes and the leaves turn.
It is exacerbated by the smell of pigskin and the sound of shoulder pads colliding. I don’t know if there is a 12-step program out there that addresses my illness, but I am certainly not looking for a cure (despite a few interventions).
My story with this illness begins at the tender age of 9. My father, who also suffers, introduced me to the game of football at the earliest age possible where I grew up in Central Florida. I started out my career playing left guard. At that age most boys are similar in size and strength and left guard was the hole that I was asked to fill.
Over the next few years, as the other boys were thickening, I was growing taller and thinner. As a result, I gradually moved to Tight End/Defensive End, then to Wide Receiver/Cornerback, and finally to Quarterback/Safety.
I have always felt that the opportunity to experienceso many different positions on the field has increased my appreciation and understanding of the sport. My most interesting memory from that stage of the illness was a single play.
I was playing Defensive End and got on the other side of the line of scrimmage as quickly as I could upon the snap of the ball. Coming my way was eventual Florida State Seminole and Miami Dolphin running back, Sammy Smith. I stepped to him, wrapped my arms around his tree-trunk legs, and drug him to the ground for a 3-yard loss.
At least that is how I remember it. Others say that somehow I lured him into tripping in my face mask as he plowed through my feeble resistance. Either way, it was recorded as a TFL.
Eventually my illness morphed into a more passive (and time-consuming) form. I would find myself onFriday nights passing by high school football fields that weren’t on the way home.
After a time, I took up permanent residence in Royal City and found my muse. I have been an avid follower of the Royal Knights ever since.
My most vivid memory from this phase of the illness was the nervous anticipationof sitting in the Tacoma Dome in 1996 just before kick-off of the 1A State Championship game. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for nervousness to turn to exhilaration, as the Knights jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead on way to a 70-0 final score.
More than a few state records were established in that game that will be very tough to break.
Now, with my illness at a more mature stage, I have begun to share it with others by dabbling in the media.
Since 2006, I have been involved in webcasting all of Royal’s football games, both home and away. This opportunity has allowed me to get to know a number of small school coaches throughout the state, who have been so willing to allow me some interview time for use during our webcasts.
I look forward to strengthening those relationships and developing many others as I work with coaches and players in my added capacity of Football Assistant Editor here at NorthwestPrepreport and over at WashingtonPreps.com.
My plan is to help bring more than just game previews and recaps to the mix. There are a lot of
interesting stories to be shared, and I hope to share as many of them as I can. I will need your help. There may be times when I will throw a story idea out there and need your input gathering the information to put it together.
Together we can help Dirk and other fantastic writer bring life and flavor back to WashingtonPreps and support the coaches, players, and communities that make this illness so bearable, because we all know there is no cure.
Contact Mike at his email right here: firstname.lastname@example.org