Athlete Spotlight: James Wood football player Sam Adkins

James Wood High School 17-year-old senior
Sport: Football. Positions: Running back/safety
Parents: Janet and Allan Adkins
Hometown: Winchester
What do you love about football: Just being on the field and competing against other teams.
Most memorable moment in football: Probably beating Handley last year. (James Wood won 21-14 in overtime.) It was very cold and very wet. But we came together. The fact that we won in overtime made it even better. And having everybody run on the field after we stopped them [two yards short of the end zone in overtime] was great. 
Most embarrassing moment in football: We were watching film one time my sophomore year, and I choked on a bottle cap. I ended up spitting it out. Once I spit it out, everybody clapped for me. People bring it up all the time when I'm about to drink a bottle of water.
Most difficult moment in football: Probably just being a sophomore on varsity. I think there were only seven sophomores on the varsity, and we were almost scared to play because of all the seniors. We just had to get used to the fact that it wasn't JV anymore.
samThree people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Walter Payton; he's been a role model for me. I never got to see him play, but I've seen videos. He stood out to me. The way he runs is the way I want to be. And I like his work ethic. My brother Brett; he passed away in 2015. He would be 28 now. I just want to see if he's proud of me and what I've become. And [former James Wood head football] Coach Walter Barr. I had [two older] brothers who played for him [Brett and Bruce], and they have all good stuff to say about him. I'd say he's the best coach to come out of James Wood. He doesn't talk much, but I'd like to sit down and talk to him and even have the team talk to him as well. 
Favorite teacher: My biology teacher, Mark Pennypacker. I really don't care for biology, but he made it fun to learn about. That's why I did good in the class. And there were animals around, too. That helped. Everything he did, he made fun. 
Favorite athlete: Walter Payton
Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts
Favorite movie: "Rocky"
Favorite TV show: “Impractical Jokers” 
Favorite song: "God's Plan" by Drake
Favorite food: Chicken 
Plans after high school: I'm looking for a university with a good criminal justice or criminology program. I like to help people. That's always stuck with me. Helping people would fit right in with this career. 
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki