Possibilities Are Endless For Red Raiders’ Pumford
When the Jamestown High School football team opens its 2017 season tonight at Frontier, its depth chart will find senior co-captain Andrew Pumford as its starting slot receiver and its starting free safety.
If truth be told, however, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior would likely be comfortable playing anywhere on the field. That’s because, according to head coach Tom Langworthy, Pumford has committed to memory the plays, formations and responsibilities of virtually every Red Raider.
“He knows (where) all the receivers (need to be) and the running backs, he knows the quarterback reads, he holds for the extra points, so he runs that team, and he’s on our punt return team,” Langworthy said. “He’s just very consistent and just very dependable, too. I think those are good qualities for all people, and it’s outstanding when young people have those.”
In many ways, Pumford is a coach on the field, a player who understands concepts and asks questions about the smallest of details, but, Langworthy says, “he understands the big picture,” too.
And it starts with Pumford’s performance in the classroom.
The 2017-18 school year is set to start next week, and not surprisingly, he is among the best students in the senior class, a young man who places academics before anything else.
“Both my parents (Lori and Brian) have always stressed to me that academics are what really get you places,” Pumford said. “The truth of the matter is your chance of going professional for baseball or football is very slim. If you really want to focus on something academics is always a safe bet. They always told me to do my best and take pride in my work, and I’ve always done that. I’ve always wanted to be the best in everything I can.”
With his priorities in the right place, Pumford is likely to have them pay off in a big way. Because of his academic performance at JHS, he hopes it will open the door for him to attend college in the Ivy League. Harvard and Yale are at the top of his preferred list of schools.
“Originally, I wanted to be an engineer,” he said. “My uncle was an engineer and I’ve always been good with math, but my mom went back to school (several years ago) to become a nurse. When she brought back homework or study material — and if I happened to be in the room — she’d always explain it to me to help herself out. I thought it was pretty neat learning about it. … It just fascinated me.”
So Pumford will trade in engineering as a career path in favor of a career in medicine. More specifically, he intends to be a surgeon.
“That’s like the highest level,” he said. “You have to know everything when you’re a surgeon and have the precision that’s needed. I feel if I can become a surgeon and excel in it, that’s the best I could do.”
Langworthy has watched Pumford strive for perfection, both inside and outside the classroom, for three years, so he’s not the least bit surprised at his success.
“It’s a standard,” Langworthy said. “If players look at Andrew as a model Red Raider, then they’ll become better. That’s how I’ll remember him. He’s just incredibly selfless and dependable. … The best is yet to come with him in his career as a football player and certainly in his life.”