Austin Box has played only 10 games at quarterback, but he's putting up numbers like a seasoned veteran. In Enid High's first six games, the 17-year-old Box has passed for 974 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior also has rushed for 465 yards and eight scores. Box will lead the Plainsmen into Friday's home game against Tulsa Union.

News -- Eagle: Friday is a big night. The defending state champion Redskins are in town. It's a big District 6A-3 game and it's at home.

Box: We realize what kind of team they are. We just hope to keep it close and give them a good game, maybe catch a couple breaks here and there and maybe take the game.

News -- Eagle: Nervous?

Box: Before every game, I'll admit, I have butterflies in my stomach.

News -- Eagle: You didn't play against Tulsa Union last year because of injury. But you had an interception in the end zone against the Redskins as a freshman. This will be your first Union game as a focal point of Enid's attack.

Box: I realize now that I'm a leader on this team at free safety and quarterback. A lot of team members feed off me. So I take it upon myself to play the best I can.

News -- Eagle: You are coming off a great game against Edmond Memorial, rushing for two touchdowns, passing for three more, returning a kickoff for a score and intercepting a pass. That kind of game might be even more special against Union.

Box: Definitely. Edmond is having a down year. It was nice to put up those numbers, but it would mean a lot more to do it against a team like Union.

News -- Eagle: With so little experience at quarterback, how have you been able to roll up such big numbers?

Box: The (spread) offense works really well. The coaches do a good job of getting me prepared. I just have to make the plays.

News -- Eagle: Any favorite plays?

Box: I like pass plays more because if nothing is open I can run. I like to scramble.

News -- Eagle: We see you on the field a lot. Are there any teams you are not on?

Box: Kickoff coverage and punt coverage. I'm on the field the rest of the time.

News -- Eagle: Enid coach Tom Cobble has said you have the potential to be one of the top players ever to play at Enid.

Box: I don't think about that. I just try to do my best and make all the plays I can. If I leave here as one of the top players that would be great. I just play.

News -- Eagle: I understand you recently received a hand-written note from Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. How is your recruiting going?

Box: I got letters from Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Tennessee and Florida State.

News -- Eagle: You were a key player for the Enid Majors last summer. Has winning the American Legion World Series begun to sink in yet?

Box: At times it was kind of overwhelming traveling around to Arkansas and South Dakota. But it was a really neat experience. I can't say enough about the support we got in Enid. But no, it really hasn't sunk in yet.

News -- Eagle: As a standout in baseball and football, you are one of the highest profile athletes in Enid. Do you like the publicity?

Box: I'm not going to say I don't like it. It's nice to get all that attention. I just try to thrive on it. It just makes me want to work harder. I don't ever let it get in the way or start thinking too highly of myself. My friends will keep me in line if I ever get out of hand.



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