There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. This motto speaks true of the mindset of November’s Bryan County Athlete of the month, BCHS football player Justin Bostick.
Bostick was presented this award on Dec. 11 at BCHS, where he received his certificate in addition to an athletic achievement award and "Athlete of the Month" T-shirt from Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.
Bostick, a senior, was the starting fullback, linebacker, and was on every special teams group.
He is also the starting center on the Redskins varsity basketball squad.
The fullback position is not known for producing impressive statistics from the player in that role, for that player is usually the lead blocker for the other runners in the backfield or only used in short yardage situations.
Bostick put up some notable numbers while playing that position all year.
In the last two regular season games in November, he carried the ball 14 times for 106 yards, which produced a rushing average of 12.2 yards per carry. Any football coach would love to have a running back with that kind of average. From the linebacker position in those same two November games, he had an impressive 14 unassisted tackles.
Bostick has played football since the ninth grade, but he didn’t become a starter until his junior year when head coach Ron Lewis saw something special in this young man.
"Justin was not so much a vocal leader as he was our ‘emotional’ leader," Lewis said. "Bostick is the one who would get our team fired up before games and let his play on the field set the tone for others to follow. The biggest thing about Justin is his own expectations. We as coaches have expectations for our athletes and sometimes they’ll meet them or get close to meeting them, and our goals are usually higher than the athletes. Justin is one of the few kids whose expectations were higher than ours. You don’t get to say that about many young people these days".
Bostick has lived in Pembroke all of his life and could be found on the football field at Hendrix Park at the early age of five. His mother, Barbara Bostick, was on hand as he accepted this award - just as she has been at most of his athletic games through the years.
"There have been times when I was working two jobs and I would leave work to go watch him play and then go back to work when his game was over," she said. "I was always there for him, but I constantly worry about him getting injured - especially as he got older and was playing more and hitting harder. Justin is very hard headed and, when he wants something, he sets his mind to it and goes after it".
Bostick credits his drive and determination to both his father and Coach Lewis.
"Coach Lewis was constantly riding me to get better and my dad was always telling me that I could do better than what I was doing. I also believed there was room for improvement, so I am constantly trying to better myself".
Being a senior, Bostick’s playing days as a Redskin are over, but he has plans after graduation for bigger and better things.
"I would like to continue to play football in college somewhere, but I will probably start out at a junior college to work on my grades. I am currently undecided about a college major, but I like math right now and if I had to decide today about an occupation, I might like to be a lawyer. Football is definitely not out of the picture for me though."
Honorable mentions: RHHS football’s Sean Milligan, RHHS cross country’s Lindsay Vasher, BCHS basketball’s Winston Johnson and Brittany Slater, and RHHS basketball’s Chakiris Moss and Tyler Carlson.