- Alma School District
Airedales' Poole Jack-of-all-Trades 8/23/21
Airedales’ Poole jack-of-all-trades
By Kevin Taylor
Devin Poole is standing in the same field house he remembers being in as a seventh-grader.
Only it's 2021, not 2016.
"It's been really fast," Poole said. "They said it would be, and you don't really realize it until you start your senior year."
Poole is among a handful of senior football players who've run the table from the great unknown that is seventh grade, the defiant times from COVID-19, and now those ready to begin their final football season for coach Rusty Bush's Airedales.
“It hasn't really hit me yet that it's my senior year," Poole said. "I feel like at the end of football season it's really going to get me."
It sure figures to be busy.
Poole will help carry some of the offensive load at running back. He’ll play outside linebacker and he’s the deep snapper on special teams.
“He’s going to be an outside linebacker for us and he’ll take some snaps at running back, too,” Bush said. “Right now he’s a deep snapper on punts, too. He’s a true Alma kid that’s going to give you every ounce of energy every time he walks on the field. I’m glad he’s on my side.”
Poole, 6-foot-1 and 163 pounds had 60 tackles and three fumble recoveries, and three TFLs (tackles for lost yardage) as a junior.
He also carried the football 26 times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, everything leading up to the 2020 season should have an asterisk next to it. With COVID-19, the Airedales were unsure they would even have a season.
"Last year was kind of important because nobody thought we could do it," Poole said. "The way we pushed through the season, it showed a lot of character. The way the football team pushed through, it's really like a brotherhood."
Poole hit the ground running over the off-season. Bush wanted him to bulk up.
“Last year he played a little undersized, and he knew coming into the off-season he had to put some pounds on and gain some strength,” Bush said. “He’s an extremely hard worker.”
"It's great to look at last year and then look at this year, and see how far we've come," Poole said. "We've had a huge head start on this year that we didn't get to have last year because of COVID.
"It's really important to me because every single practice is my last."
Poole said he hopes to one day become an RV technician and work for Crabtree RV. "I don't really want to move that much," he said.
As for football? The brotherhood is an unmistakable bond.
"It shows that you have toughness and perseverance," Poole said. "I like it because I feel like it's given me a lot of life lessons for later — how to push through and have a hard work ethic.
"I think everybody should do it (play football), but not everybody does ... that's why it's so important."