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Double trouble

Boardman Babos’s handful for others

August 7, 2012
By JOHN VARGO , Tribune Chronicle correspondent

BOARDMAN - John and Justin Babos were born 3 minutes apart.

The two Boardman High School seniors have been inseparable since.

"He'll get grey hair before me," Justin said of his "older" brother.

Article Photos

John Babos

The two will be two-way players for the Spartans football team. Justin, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound offensive lineman and linebacker, and John, a 6-2, 225-pound quarterback and defensive end, have been with each other playing sports since the two were 6 years old.

"We're both the same way," Justin said. "He was a quarterback and I was a center when we were in little Spartans. When we were in baseball, he was the pitcher and I was the catcher. Me and him have always been close. This year, I'm going to be at guard and he's going to be at quarterback. It's going to be a good experience for both of us this year."

John is taking on an odd combination, being a quarterback and defensive end.

"We may be the only team in America that does that," Boardman coach Mark D'Eramo said. "Nick Tuminello on the 2009 team did the same thing. You can't win unless your quarterback is tough. I'll take a 225-pound quarterback that's tough any day. He may not have all the quarterback skill, but he can win high school football games."

"He's tough. He can do it," Justin said. "I believe in him. He's the one who deadlifts the most on the football team (525). As a quarterback, that's really good. He's going to be like a Tim Tebow running at quarterback. He'll get the job done. That's what I believe."

John said he quarterback at the lower levels his freshman and sophomore years. He was moved to fullback last year, along with defensive end. He just wants to help the team out any way he can.

"I practiced a lot in the offseason," John said. "In the weight room, I practiced my three-step and five-step drops, practicing my zone reads. Yes, it's going to hurt me a little bit. I lost a whole year at quarterback. Then again, I have the experience. It's going to be there. It's going to come naturally. I'm practicing every day on the field."

As for Justin, he loves coming up from the blind side on an opposing quarterback.

"I don't care who it is, I'm coming at you. I don't hold back," Justin said. "Blitzing is the best."

He likes the reaction he receives.

"Just coming on like a jam or a barrel, seeing the quarterback's face as you're about to hit him, and he's like 'Oh, wow,'" Justin said. "He has no time to react. Just seeing him shocked."

Don't be shocked to see both of them playing for a Mid-American Conference school next fall. John said plenty of them are recruiting him and Justin.

"We''ll be playing together again," John said.

Right now, they're pouring their hearts and souls into the Boardman program.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," John said. "We bleed with these kids on the team. We do everything together. We want to help Boardman get recognized again as a team, not just us. We bleed maroon and white."

jvargo@tribtoday.com