ROXANA - There are several senior leaders on the Roxana Shells football team that have made a marvelous postseason run this year. James Herring captains the defense but got his name on the scoresheet in Roxana’s big playoff win over Paris.
Herring, a big linebacker, an imposing force in the Shell defense, intercepted a Paris pass and rumbled down almost to the endzone, but was tackled just short on the one-yard line.
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He came off the field, celebrating his big play with his Roxana teammates. Shells' head coach Wade DeVries told him to get back out there, line up as a fullback, and finish the job. James took the handoff from Roxana quarterbackChris Walleck and powered his way into the endzone.
James Herring has been playing football for eight years. It’s the first time he’s ever scored a touchdown.
Herring is a Midwest Members Credit Union Male Athlete of Month for the Shells.
“I was happy,” said Herring. “I’ve been asking for a touchdown all season, out of the eight years I’ve played football I’ve never had the feeling of scoring a touchdown. In my honest opinion, laying a big hit on defense feels better, but I’m still grateful for (coach Wade DeVries) letting me complete a wish.”
As James mentions, he prefers big hits to scoring points, and that’s apparent for anyone who’s watched Herring as a defensive leader for the Shells.
“Being thrown into varsity games as a freshman helped me a lot,” said Herring of how he’s grown with the Roxana team. “And being a leader this year has allowed me to hold everyone to a higher standard, as if they were a leader as well.”
And what a season to be a leader for the Shells, with the team undefeated and going far into the postseason, James has embraced his role, and the “family” he’s found around the football team.
“This season has been amazing,” Herring said of the 2023 campaign. “Seeing the whole town behind us in this fight to win the State Championship, it’s a different feeling. I’m proud to be a part of it.
“I couldn’t ask for a better family to play for. They never let anything get to them, and if they do, (a teammate) picks them up. We’re not in it for our own will, we play for the boys next to us and for the town that cheers us on.”
When he’s not laying big hits, or scoring a rare touchdown on the football field, James says he enjoys fishing and hunting, and watching football and wrestling highlights in his free time. “Man, I’m just a regular kid still.”
Again, congrats to Herring on his Midwest Members Credit Union Male Athlete of Month recognition for the Shells.
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