Thursday, August 15, 2013
Corey Rawlings is looking to do bigger and better things for the Patriots’ football team this year.
Rawlings, a rising senior, has been a standout for the Fort Dorchester varsity baseball team since his freshman year but he joined the Patriots’ football program just last season. His only prior experience in the sport was the two years he spent as a linebacker for his middle school football team.
“I just wanted to give football another try so I did and it was fun so I stuck with it,” Rawlings said. “I feel I’m getting better every day. Baseball is definitely my sport but it’s fun to do something else. Playing two sports allows you to experience more.”
His baseball frame wasn’t ideal for a Class AAAA linebacker so the Patriots’ coaches moved him to the receiver position and worked him out as a punter.
The team already had a lot of talent at the receiver position so Rawlings saw limited time with the Patriot offense last season. He did start three games at the position and had one reception, a 16-yard TD catch in the Stratford game.
His contributions as a punter were far greater. Rawlings punted the ball 42 times in 2012, averaging 37.3 yards per punt. He pinned 12 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. His longest punt was 93 yards and he didn’t have a single punt blocked all season.
His kicking performance led to him being named the Patriots’ 2012 Outstanding Special Teams Player as well as to the 2012 All-County Line all-star team.
That success carried into the baseball season when Rawlings went 5-3 as a pitcher and for the third consecutive year finished the season with a batting average over .400. As a baseball player, Rawlings has earned all-state honors for three straight seasons. Last spring he was named the Co-MVP of the Patriots’ baseball team.
Soon after the end of the baseball season Rawlings shifted his focus back to football. All summer he and many of his teammates maintained a rigid workout schedule, coming to the school several times a week to condition.
Their workout routine began with weight lifting, followed by wind sprints. Then players broke into groups for position-specific training.
But for Rawlings that didn’t mark the end of his workout. After he was done running routes with the other receivers he stayed on the field to work on his punting.
“I don’t mind because I feel I can improve at all those things if I work at it,” he said. “I want to do whatever I can to help the team be as successful as possible. My personal goal is to contribute in every game in some way that helps us pull out a victory.”
If his performance during the Patriots’ first scrimmage of the summer is any indication Rawlings stands to be an impact player this season.
“He was a part of six touchdowns in that scrimmage,” Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. “Corey has a lot of athletic ability so we are hoping for big things from him this year.”
Rawlings played as both a quarterback and receiver in the scrimmage against Camden. He threw a TD pass, made three TD receptions and rushed for two TDs. One of the scoring receptions netted 60 yards.
Last year marked the first time since LaPrad took over the Patriot football program that the team did not make the playoffs. That hasn’t set well with the players returning to the team and Rawlings says the Patriots are out to prove they are a playoff-caliber team.
“We are psyched about this season,” he said. “Coming off a disappointing season last year we were all eager to get back to work. We have some talented athletes and everyone is ready to get out there and play.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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