COLUMBIA — Deven Larry had never missed a game as a Kewpie until last Friday.
Earlier last week, Hickman running back Deven Larry suffered a concussion during Tuesday's practice that kept him out.
Hickman (3-5) at Troy Buchanan (4-4). 7 P.M. Friday. Where: Troy, Mo.
Jefferson City (8-0) at Fort Zumwalt West (6-2). 7 P.M. Friday Where: O'Fallon, MO
Although both Jefferson City and Fort Zumwalt West are looking to lock up a playoff berth with a win, this week is a must-win situation for Hickman and Troy Buchanan after each team lost its first in district play. The loser between Hickman and Troy Buchanan will be eliminated from playoff contention. Coach Arnel Monroe knows Friday will be a tough test for his team.
"We have to zero in on Troy and nothing else and go from there. Troy is a physical team. We have to stop them."
You might expect to hear some complaints from a player who had to sit out, but not from him.
"He's a man of few words," Coach Arnel Monroe said.
Larry has been an integral part of the Hickman backfield this season. Against Gateway Tech, he ran the ball 24 times. Larry's teammates and coaches are not surprised by his production, but they were surprised by his quiet demeanor.
"He is really quiet," Hickman safety Jeff Treadway said. "After you get to know him, you can talk to him about anything. He’ll pipe up and tell you something funny and then go back to being really quiet. He will throw you off beat real quick because he’ll just be standing there and out of nowhere, he’ll start talking to you. Then you’ll have this full-on conversation."
Larry moved to Columbia from Colorado, where he was third string on his football team. When he came out for the Hickman team at the beginning of this year, Monroe knew he had a hungry, coachable player.
"He can really play, and the boy came in with something to prove," Monroe said. "He worked for me, and we really hit it off just great. Last week, we lost a playmaker, a kid who can take it to the house right now. It will be great to get him back and get him rolling."
Missing last week's game was tough on Larry, but not because he didn't get to play or because he feels the offense needed him. He was just disappointed with the loss.
"Maybe I was missed a bit in the speed aspect of our offense," Larry said. "But mainly just because of the loss. I didn't expect it to be that score."
Hickman lost 42-12 to Fort Zumwalt West without Larry in the lineup. Larry looks to make an impact this week as the Kewpies take on the Troy Buchanan Trojans.
Thinking about getting back in the game makes Larry smile, but of course, he didn't have a whole lot to say about it.
"It feels good," he said.