Putting the team first

Q&a -- Jeff Javier, Howard, Football

October 31, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun reporter

Howard senior wide receiver Jeff Javier has played a big role in helping the Lions go from 2-8 last season to 7-1 this season.

Javier and senior quarterback Jeff Kalski have connected 16 times for 300 yards and six touchdowns this season - including a 10-yard touchdown that helped the Lions get past Wilde Lake, 21-14, on Saturday.

Equally important has been the leadership Javier has brought as one of the team's co-captains. He said the most important aspects he has learned about being a leader are putting the team ahead of individual accomplishments and communicating with each teammate in a positive tone.

Javier, 6 feet 3 and 205 pounds, started playing football in the seventh grade with the Catonsville Stars recreation league team and has been on the Howard varsity for three years. Javier, who has a weighted 3.93 grade point average, plans to play in college and would like to major in physical therapy. He recently visited the University of Delaware and enjoyed the small-town feel of its campus. Javier plays the outfield and pitches on occasion for the baseball team. He also plays acoustic guitar.

How rewarding has this season been for you?

It's pretty awesome just knowing we are that much better than we were last year and knowing that all it takes is teamwork and people working hard together. You just have to work hard, and the success of the team is more important than anything else.

What's the feeling like when you catch a touchdown pass?

I just think about am I going to make it. During the Atholton game this season, I caught this pass - it was a 7-yard pass - but then I turned around, and there was nobody there, so I just took off running. I got a nice block from one of our other receivers, Taylor Landrum, downfield and scored a touchdown. It was a great feeling - being wide open - it's just awesome. It went for like 43 yards.

What's it going to take to make a run at the playoffs?

We're just going to have to keep working hard and not make the little mistakes that can cost you. Against some of the less-strong teams, it may not make as much of a difference. But against the stronger teams, the mistakes can be the difference.

What is it about physical therapy that caught your interest?

I thought that would be pretty cool because I enjoy sports and want to be around it for the rest of my life. So why not help injured athletes and stuff like that?

How do you prepare for a game?

I like to get here early, sit in the locker room quietly and put my pads and stuff on. When everyone else gets here, people turn on real loud music, start talking real loud and have a good time. I like the quiet time first to get focused on the game.

Who would you say is your role model in football?

I'd say it was Jerry Rice, just for his style of play. He wasn't a real flashy receiver like Chad Johnson and some of the others who celebrate every single time they do something. It was basically his job, and he just went out and did it because that's what he was getting paid to do.

What do you think of some of the antics of today's wide receivers in the NFL?

Some of the stuff they do is funny, but it gets old. They're getting paid to score a touchdown - that's their job. People don't go celebrate or dance when they finish up a report for work or something.

You are happiest when you are where?

With my friends, just hanging out.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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