LHS’ Birt relishing leadership role
With just under seven minutes left and Lawton High up 7-0 against Sapulpa last week, senior cornerback Bryce Birt knew the Chieftains were in a passing situation as they faced 3rd and 9 at their own 36.
Sapulpa QB Trey Bilby looked to his right for a receiver near the first down line and fired the ball toward him. Birt broke on the ball, stepped in front and raced 42 yards for a touchdown that sparked the 61-21 drubbing to get LHS back on track after the previous week's loss to MacArthur.
"It felt pretty good knowing that I could do that for my team," Birt said. "I'm not really a big defensive player, but being able to do that, a lot of people were shocked, so I liked it."
That quote tells you a lot about Bryce Birt. He sees himself as a cog that keeps the LHS machine moving, not the key cog. He's a team-first player as evidenced by his being named to the Black Watch, LHS' method of choosing captains. His 4.0 GPA, along with his high character and leadership, made him a perfect candidate according to his coach.
"He's real good about communicating with the kids in both positive and negative situations," LHS head coach Randy Breeze said. "If you want to be a leader, you have to outwork most of your teammates and you have to be a motivator. Bryce has the ability to say something positive at a negative time. One game, we hit him on a bubble and he took it for a touchdown and the first thing he did was get back and thank those two guys for blocking for him."
Birt is a starter on offense, defense and some special teams sets. It's the offensive side of the ball that Birt enjoys the most and it's easy to see why. He catches bubble screens and nearly always picks up seven or more yards. He has nine receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown. He also has two interceptions on the season, both of which came in last week's game.
"He's got a great burst. He comes off the line with a real good first step and he's got a lot of shake-and-bake about him. He's a tough guy to tackle," Breeze said. "He can take check downs and make big plays. He makes things happen. We're getting a lot of mileage out of Bryce. We haven't asked him to sell popcorn at halftime yet, but he's a starter on offense, defense and special teams."