Heartland Sports In the Game: Wide Receiver - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland Sports In the Game: Wide Receiver

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

What exactly does it take to be a wide receiver? We've all watched wide receivers over the years, yelling at them when they drop a key pass. 

But what exactly does it take? I decided to try and find out. 

I went to Cape Central high school, and spent the day with the Tigers, following two of their top receivers, senior Blake Harris and junior Austin Parker. 

I asked them what they thought was the hardest part about being a wide receiver. 

"The hardest part is actually knowing your routes," Parker said with a grin. 

Knowing your routes is right. Every time a receiver runs a route, they do it at a dead sprint. The conditioning these kids go through each day is astounding. 

But conditioning is not the only thing that factors into being a good wide receiver. 

"Hand strength is tremendously important," head coach Arlen Pixley states. 

He's not kidding. In order to build up hand strength, a receiver will catch between 75 and 150 footballs in a single practice.

"That's everything, that's part of being a receiver," Pixley said. "You gotta be able to catch it." 

Blake Harris agreed, especially when asked how hard it is to catch the passes that quarterback Kway'chon Chism throws. 

"He throws it pretty hard," Harris said with a grin. "Which is good reps in practice for me, being able to catch those." 

But one receiver isn't going to get the ball on every play, so how do receivers help their team when they aren't getting the ball? 

"Blocking," Harris said. "Just being able to know that I can help my brother get 10 yards or more just getting down the field for him." 

For Parker, it's about knowing the game plan. 

"Just working on how to run your routes right, " Parker said. 

With that in mind, I decided to try it for myself. 

Now, once I was suited up, Coach Pixley threw me a few passes, taught me a few routes, which was all way harder than I thought. 

Then, he had one of his star corners guard me. And I quickly learned, catching the ball solo? Is a lot easier than catching the ball with someone breathing down your neck.

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