At a time when many teenagers are still growing into their bodies, Trevor Lowe is growing into quite the leader and perhaps one of the best high school quarterbacks in West Virginia.
Lowe, a sophomore at Nitro, has developed a unique skill set that prompted Wildcats coach Zach Davis to dub him “the Tim Tebow of West Virginia football.’’
Already coming in at a solid 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds at age 15, and built a bit like the former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida, Lowe has proven he can beat teams throwing the ball or running it.
In a win against Logan this season, he ran for 195 yards and five touchdowns. In a victory against Winfield last year, he threw for 189 yards and a score.
His best passing output of 295 yards and three TDs came in this season’s opener versus Poca, a 40-28 loss that stands as the second-closest game this season for the Dots (7-0), an unbeaten Class AA power.
He’s definitely a complete QB, as evidenced by the closeness of his run-pass stats — through seven games, he’s run for 819 yards and thrown for 799.
What sets Lowe apart from a lot of other quarterbacks is his willingness to do the dirty work as a runner, in addition to his talents as a passer. All of that came from adding a beneficial 30 pounds in the off-season to better absorb the hits he takes. He averages more than 18 carries per game and has already run for 16 touchdowns and four 2-point conversions, giving him 104 points heading into the bye week for Nitro (3-4).
“He was a typically gangly freshman last year, a tall kid,’’ Davis said. “We knew he was a decent athlete; he’s a basketball player, too. This year, he had a real good off-season and put some muscle on that frame. Now he’s one of our better runners — he’s our leading rusher. He’s also our strongest player and one of our faster players.
“I think he’s the Tim Tebow of West Virginia football. He’s our short-yardage back. When it’s fourth and 1, he’s probably toting the rock. We want the ball in his hands. We trust him with it. He can take a pounding and keep on ticking. If it’s a close game, you can bet he’s playing defense, because he’s our best linebacker, too.’’
However, don’t sell Lowe short when it comes to throwing the ball, as he’s a 58 percent career passer. This season, he’s completed 68 of 115 throws, passing for seven TDs and six 2-point conversions against just two interceptions.
Lowe, who was selected as the Gazette-Mail’s Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year last season, said he enjoy both parts of being a quarterback.
“The best part of the game, for sure, is running it,’’ Lowe said. “It’s just the contact. I’ve always liked contact since I was a kid. But I like to throw it, too. [Davis] calls the plays and it’s pretty much me running or throwing it. He runs me up the middle because I’m a bigger-set kid than most of the other kids in the Cardinal Conference, and I like to run the ball.’’
Davis also lauds Lowe for keeping things balanced between football and the rest of his life. Davis thinks his family has helped keep Lowe centered — his father, Austin, is the school’s boys basketball coach and his mother, Natasha, used to coach girls basketball at Hurricane and still teaches at that school.
“He’s one of those kids that you kind of want your daughter to marry,’’ Davis said of Trevor Lowe. “He’s a great young man from a great family. They did a great job raising him. His ceiling is very, very high and he’s not even close to reaching his ceiling. The great thing about him is that his family always pushed him to stay humble. He’s a hard worker.
“One thing people don’t know is that he is one of most collected and calm players I’ve ever been around. It can be complete chaos out there and Trevor is in total control of himself, and he’s starting to take control of the surroundings around him. He can get players around him to calm down and focus. He has a real ability to live in the moment and not be overwhelmed by the moment. He’s a unique guy for 15 years old.’’
Trevor Lowe has no trouble living by the standards his parents instilled in him.
“Last year, when I was the Rookie of the Year,’’ he said, “everybody told me I should be all hyped about it, but I stayed to myself and kept hitting the gym and stuff. [My parents] didn’t want me to get too full of myself, so I kept working out. I just want our team to get better every day.
“Ever since I was little, I was always the leader of the team, or the biggest one. Ever since I got into high school, I’ve been going to work out at 6:30 in the morning, and I get a couple friends from the team to work out and run and stuff before practice, too.’’
The gridiron success at Nitro has been measured in small steps in recent seasons. With three wins this year, the Wildcats have already matched their most victories in a season since going 7-5 in 2007 under Scott Tinsley, their last playoff year. They have games remaining against Winfield, Sissonville and Scott.
However, the progress of their sophomore QB has been something worth monitoring — not just for the rest of this season, but for the near few. Davis thinks Lowe has a bright future in the sport.
“The sky’s the limit,’’ Davis said. “As far as college coaches all around the state, my phone blows up about Trevor Lowe. I’m not sure what level he’ll play at in college, but he has the ability.’’