At most schools when you are the starting quarterback of the football team, everyone in school knows you. When you are the starting quarterback of the South Point football team, everyone in Belmont knows you.
Desmond Lowery has been the starter for three years, and he takes his role as leader of the Red Raiders seriously.
“People come up to me all the time and say, ‘You're the South Point quarterback, aren't you?' ” Lowery said. “I always try to talk to people, especially kids, because I feel like I'm sort of a role model.”
Running the “Red Bone” offense is a little bit different than running a lot of other offenses. The South Point offense is a version of the old veer offense, where the quarterback has many choices, including handing off to the fullback, pitching to one of two wingbacks, keeping it himself or throwing the ball.
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“It starts with the pre-snap read and understanding the defense in front of you,” head coach John Devine said. “There are always options, and the biggest difference in Desmond is that the game has kind of slowed down for him and he has a great understanding of the game.”
Through the season's first six games Lowery's understanding has made South Point the top offense in Gaston County. He led the Big South conference in rushing and total offense, and had the Red Raiders averaging 450 yards and 43 points per game.
He was forced to sit out South Point's 22-0 homecoming victory against Hunter Huss due to a twisted knee and ankle, but hoped to be ready as the Red Raiders took their 6-1 record to Ashbrook last Friday night.
The 18-year-old, 6-foot-3 Lowery is no stranger to athletic success. Older brother Devon, a 2001 graduate of South Point, is a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2008, after seven years in the minors, Devon was called up to the majors in September.
“Devon's been a big role model for me,” Lowery said. “He has spent seven years in the minor leagues and finally got the call to the majors. He didn't give up, and that's what he tells me.”
Now Lowery wants to be a role model for others. He is being recruited by many schools, mostly Division II or Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) schools.
He says he tells kids that before they think about sports, they must put schoolwork first. He also volunteers as a basketball referee for the Special Olympics and hopes to major in physical education so he can work with kids to keep them in good shape.
“He's a great kid,” Devine said. “Desmond has made tremendous strides as a leader, and shows others that if you put the time and work in, you can be successful.”