PREP FOOTBALL: ‘Represent my community in a good way’: Good Hope’s Colten Whatley recaps junior year

Good Hope’s Colten Whatley. (Maddie McKenney/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — The Good Hope Raiders qualified for the playoffs last year after a strong finish to the regular season and quarterback Colten Whatley talked about what he learned during that stretch and what it was like playing alongside a great group of teammates.

“Last season, our goal going into that season was to ‘prove them wrong’. I feel we did that, but part of me also feels we underachieved. This year, I feel like we can reach our full potential. I learned a lot about reading defenses and how I need to deliver the football in certain situations,” Whatley said. “It was fun getting to play with the kids I’ve grown up playing with. Each of them taught me something different. I also have to give credit to my wide receivers and offensive line. I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for them.”

Colten got to back up Tanner Malin last season and got tons of help from him. He talked about his first year starting, plus he gave his thoughts on the spring game and how he feels it went.

“He really helped me get comfortable with the playbook and understand the offense,” Whatley said. “I felt like I made good progress throughout the season. As the games went on, I gained more and more confidence. I was really happy with how the spring game went. We still have room to improve, but I was overall impressed with our performance.”

Colten has been blessed to get the chance to play under head coach Alan Scott and with some great seniors as well. He has seen his game improve throughout the years but is still working on some things in the offseason to help himself get ready for next season.

“Coach Scott is a great coach and role model. The biggest thing I’ve learned from him so far is how to be a leader, while having honor and integrity,” he said. “They showed me how to lead a team and how to keep everyone on board with our program. I feel like I have improved in most aspects of my game, especially my awareness. I’ve been working on my agility and footwork in the pocket. I’ve also been working on my arm strength.”

Colten talked about his goals for the upcoming season, what will make this team special to watch, his role model growing up, and the best advice that someone ever gave him.

“I want to be the best leader possible and represent my community in a good way. Our team goal is simple and it’s to make it to a state championship,” he said. “We plan on bringing a lot of energy to the field. I’ve always looked up to Aaron Rodgers because I like his style of play. The best advice that someone ever gave me was to do everything in life as if I was doing it for the Lord.”

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