• December 19, 2014

Pop Quiz: Payton George, Gatesville

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Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:16 am

Class: SeniorSports: Baseball and Football

Claim to fame: A starter in both sports, George will sign with North Park University in Chicago to play both football and baseball on Wednesday. He’ll lead the Hornets into a must-win game against China Spring on Friday, with the winner taking the final playoff spot in District 19-3A.

Gatesville has a playoff streak going (six straight years). How much does play into this game?“It is a big thing. I don’t want to be the senior that leaves here saying, ‘Man, I didn’t make the playoffs.’ So I really want to keep the tradition alive, not only for me, but for the guys that are younger and also coming up.” Last year, you played in the field but were normally hit for in the lineup. What’s it like now finally getting that opportunity?“It makes you feel more confident as a person and as a baseball player that I’m up there at the plate and it’s actually me instead of having to be DH’ed for — I’m actually the one getting to do the job.”

What’s it like being the designated player?“It’s not as fun. The game of baseball is fielding and hitting, so when you’re only getting to do half of it, you can only do so much. So you’re like, ‘Man, I could have done that job.’ But now I can do that job.”

What’s another sport you don’t play but think you could get into or like to try?“I’d like to try the pole vault — I’m kind of a risky guy. I think it’s cool. You’re flying high in the air — that’s something different.”

How about in school — what’s your favorite subject?“I’m a science guy. I plan on majoring in biology and whenever I got to college, I’m going to study to be a veterinary.“Just growing up as a kid, I’ve always been an animal lover. You see a hurt animal, and it’s like I want to help that animal.”What was it like when you went on your college visit?“It was a different atmosphere. Everybody told me that whenever I got up there, it was to be cold and I’d be miserable. I got up there, it was negative-six degrees and I was wearing a pair of jeans and a hoodie and I felt fine.”

How much of a relief is it to have your college plans taken care of?“It feels relaxing. I was that kid a few months ago. It wasn’t just that one college, I had talked to four or five different college about playing sports — I didn’t know if I wanted to play baseball or football.“I’m not an amazing athlete, but I’m decent at both of them. So once I sat down and said this is where I’m going to go, it was like a big load off my chest.”

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