From Staff Reports
Funny how things work out.
From a deer in headlights to shining under the harshest spotlight without blinking.
That’s how far Mildred’s Nic Shimonek has come.
But it’s only part of his story — the one that starts with him being thrown into the fire when he was a freshman and ends Tuesday night when Shimonek will be the quarterback for the North in the Texas High School Coaches Association’s 79th annual all-star game. Shimonek is always at home on a football field and that’s one reason when he takes the field at Mildred football coach Billy Dan Chambliess believes Shimonek will go out with one more big game Tuesday night in Fort Worth when he takes the field at TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium.
“I think he’ll have a real good game,’’ Chambliess said. “I believe that because of his work ethic and how hard he had to work to get here. He has come such a long way from his freshmen year and it’s really been great to watch him grow.’’
Chambliess remembers when Shimonek had take over the Eagles as a freshman. Shimonek took some hits and had some growing pains.
He played his final game for Mildred in Cowboys Stadium. That’s where he led last year’s Mildred team — right to the Class 2A state title game.
“He really struggled when he was a freshman,’’ Chambliess said. “He had to play as a freshman. He had to be put in that situation even when he was ready for it. It was tough and he had a lot of struggles. Another kid who had to go through those struggles he went through probably would have quit. He had to fight and he had to work for it. But that’s the kind of kid Nic is.’’
By the time he left, Shimonek left the Eagles with a legacy no one will forget. He threw for 8,215 yards and 99 touchdowns and led the Eagles to 34 wins.
He won the Daily Sun’s Golden Circle Del Thrash Football Player of the Year Award, and signed with Iowa.
He is already a member of the Hawkeyes, and because Iowa doesn’t allow its incoming freshmen to talk to the media, Shimonek could not be interviewed for this story.
He said he was sorry but that it was a rule at Iowa.
He will likley do his talking on the football field Tuesday night.