If there is one lesson Sammie Long learned during his final season at Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes High School it is that “pressure actually does burst pipes.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver wanted his senior sendoff to be one he would always remember. He put pressure on himself to set a standard through leadership and performance.
But his desire to be the best produced more pressure than he was prepared to handle. He struggled early. He learned a lesson. Now, as he shifts his attention to his college career he will take what he was taught to the next level.
“I think it’s going to help a lot, because I was able to forget about all the stress and just go out there and have fun,” said Long, who is committed to Washington. “I realized that the reason I wasn’t contributing as much was because I was putting too much pressure on myself. I didn’t realize it until after I took a minute to look back on what I was doing.”
After taking some time to reflect on the season, which ended after a 28-25 loss to Seattle (Wash.) O’Dea in the playoffs Nov. 3, Long realized he learned a few other lessons.
“I also learned that you can always depend on the underclassmen as much as you depend on your seniors,” he said. “That’s how the team works. You have to trust your team.
“You have to work hard every minute of the game, because you never know what the outcome is.”
The things he figured out over the Lancers’ 10 games are now pushing him as he works toward the future. He spends two hours a day, three to four days a week, in the weight room and has committed himself in the classroom.
Long played through pain at times this season, dealing with a dislocated pinkie finger and a fractured ring finger on his right hand. When he suffered one of the injuries, he missed an hour of practice. The other kept him out just long enough to get his finger taped.
“I never gave up, especially with the broken fingers that I had,” he said. “It was a great inspiration for me to keep going.”
While Long said he is still firmly committed to the Huskies, he is still thinking about taking trips to Oregon State and Utah to make sure he “made the right choice.”
Before he agrees to take any official visits though, he plans to first clear it with the Huskies’ coaching staff.
“I’m still trying to speak to coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) to make sure it’s an appropriate thing to do,” Long said.