Andrew Goodman has waited for his chance to shine.
After starring as a freshman quarterback on the Mallard Creek JV team, Goodman spent most of last year watching from the sidelines as all-state quarterback Marquise Williams dominated the competition.
Goodman, a junior, made the decision to transfer to First Assembly, where he would not only have a good chance to be the starting quarterback, but also prove that he could be a great player on his own.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder worked tirelessly this summer in 7-on-7s, camps, combines and with his new coach, former Carolina Panther great, Mike Minter.
But while Goodman got a lot of valuable practice in the last two years, nothing is quite like the pressure of a game under the lights on a Friday night.
"Goodman hasn't had the experience or the reps that he needs to be a great quarterback, yet," said Minter. "All the talent is there, but he is learning on the run, on the field. Every week, he is getting better and better."
Goodman got off to a great start this season, throwing for 100 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 43 yards and two touchdowns in his first start as an Eagle.
But then, things got a lot harder as the Eagles traveled to Charlotte Christian. Goodman struggled, passing for only 63 yards on five-for-20 passing.
"I really never knew how hard it was to be a quarterback at this level,," said Goodman, who started one game last year for the Mavericks. "Every game for me is a new experience. I am learning on the job. But I think that is the best way to do it."
Goodman passed for 117 yards and a touchdown against Providence Day. He also ran for 81 yards and two scores on the ground. But while his numbers looked strong, Goodman also threw two interceptions in the 48-31 loss. Friday, Goodman led the Eagles to a 68-0 win against High Point Christian.
"Like a lot of our young guys, he has gotten thrown in the fire, which in the long run, is good for him and our team," said Minter.
The Eagles have had to depend on younger players like Goodman, sophomore tailback Michael Minter Jr. and many more. Coach Minter says better days are ahead.
"I knew this part of our season would be a great challenge for our team," Minter said. "We want to continue to build our program, our reputation. We strive to be like the (Charlotte) Latins, the Christians and the Charlotte Country Days. But you can't get there overnight."
Like his team, Goodman hopes to keep growing and improving every week. Goodman is working on everything from footwork, game management and accuracy to leadership with his teammates.
"Being the quarterback of any team is a major responsibility and you have to be a leader," he said. "I am learning to do my job, but a big part of that is keeping everybody motivated and making sure they perform to their potential."
Minter thinks his team will grow as his young quarterback learns how to manage a game under the pressure of playing on Friday night.
"We've already seen glimpses of greatness," said Minter. "I think he has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the state."