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Player of the Week: Ryan Gaitor

By Casey Goetz
Published On: Sep 14 2012 04:08:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 14 2012 04:10:32 PM CDT

The Daniel Boone Trailblazers were ranked fourth in our poll this week -- a big reason for that is the play of a fantastic freshman.

GRAY, Tenn. -

The Daniel Boone Trailblazers were ranked fourth in our poll this week -- a big reason for that is the play of a fantastic freshman.

Ok, so this week's top player isn't a freshman, but he might as well be. Daniel Boone wide receiver Ryan Gaitor may be a senior, but in football terms he's a freshman.

Gaitor, who's always been a basketball player, is playing his first year of varsity football.

Jeremy Jenkins is the Trailblazers' head coach. "We talked to him and told him we'd love to have him [on the team]," he explained. "His athletic ability that he has on the court to come out here and do the same thing in football. He had a great spring for us and it's carried over. We are just very fortunate to have him with us."

Gaitor tried football once before during his sophomore year. He went through spring practice but then quit.

It wasn't until teammate Cliff Sanders got in his ear earlier this year that Gaitor started to reconsider. "I didn't want to regret going out of high school and not being able to play football, because it's always been my favorite sport," Gaitor told us.

Gaitor is turning out to be a natural in football. Last week against Happy Valley on Daniel Boone's first offensive play, Gaitor took the handoff and then pulled off what's sure to be one of the plays of the year. "I don't even remember doing anything. I remember watching the film and seeing it," Gaitor recalled. "I remember getting hit and spinning off then juking back through and taking it up the middle."

"From the side point I know he made a couple players miss," Coach Jenkins said. "He didn't realize how many players he made miss until he watched it on tape. Just a really gifted athlete that made a great play."

That was just the beginning of a big night for Gaitor. He had a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown and he also caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in the first half, giving him three touchdowns three different ways.

"I didn't realize it until after I caught the touchdown pass," Gaitor laughed. "I got back and they said, 'all you need is one more.' I was like, 'what are you talking about?' 'Now you need to get a kick return.'"