MAROA — The last day of Maroa-Forsyth's summer football activities was Wade Jostes' final chance before practices start Aug. 6 to prove he deserves a starting spot at varsity receiver and safety.
But Jostes, a sophomore and Maroa coach Josh Jostes' son, is the Trojans' backup quarterback. And when starting quarterback Ian Benner couldn't make it to Maroa's 7-on-7 round robin tournament on Saturday because of car trouble in Tennessee coming back from a baseball tournament, Wade had to step in.
And because Carrollton was a no-show, Maroa's JV team had to fill the spot — Wade is also the starting JV QB.
So instead of receiver and safety, Wade played eight games of quarterback on Saturday. He led the varsity team to a 4-0 record, beating Pana, Taylorville, St. Teresa and Shelbyville to give the Trojans the tournament title.
"I'm very proud of him as his coach, and a little bit as his dad, too," Josh said, smiling. "That was a lot of fun. I thought he played really well."
Wade wasn't immune to his dad's ire when he made mistakes, and his teammates thoroughly enjoyed when Josh yelled, "Wade Matthew," at his son to get his attention.
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One thing is for sure — Wade knows the offense.
"He's smart, he's been around it and he wants to compete," Josh said.
There's no quarterback controversy at Maroa — Benner was the starter last year as a sophomore, leading Maroa to the state title game, and will be the starter again this year.
Wade will always be a play away from getting in the game as varsity backup QB, but Josh said Wade is hoping to assure himself a spot on the field even when Benner is in the game.
"He was actually a little bummed when Ian couldn't be here because he wants to play receiver and safety on varsity, and he can't do that when he's playing quarterback," Josh said. "He hopes he's starting varsity at receiver or safety, but he has several good kids in front of him.
"More than likely he'll be a special teams player. But he'll figure out a way to get on the field. He's pretty athletic and pretty smart, and you can't have too many good football players."