David Renfroe

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 30, 2008

Renfroe takes point on SP team

By Angie Ledbetter

The 17-year-old quarterback for the South Panola Tigers has two state championship rings and is willing to stick with his team his senior year and get a third one.

As the South Panola Tigers kick off the season tonight against Vicksburg in the Red Carpet Bowl Classic, all eyes will be on David Renfroe, who has a rocket arm which has propelled him into the sights of professional baseball teams.

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Renfroe has been playing football since fourth grade but skipped his freshman year in high school. That was not the only sport in which he was interested.

He has been playing baseball since the age of three and hopes to follow in his dad’s, Laddie Renfroe, foot steps of playing Major League Baseball.

His verbal commitment this spring to play baseball at Ole Miss had him rethinking playing football his senior year. That did not last long as he returned to quarterback his senior year.

In Pee Wee football, he played quarterback and middle linebacker. He had played quarterback ever since and loves it.

“It’s unique and different from the other positions,” said Renfroe. “You’ve got to be smart to learn all the plays and it’s fun.”

There is more pressure on Renfroe to play quarterback for the Tigers.

“Last year, I felt more pressure because I was a new starter,” he said. “This year I’m just going to go out there and start my game.”

Renfroe handles pressure by not listening to what people say.

“I just go out there, practice and perform to my best ability. Everything else will come together.”

He admits that with the Tigers being undefeated last year was pressure in itself.

Renfroe describes himself as a dropback, passing type of quarterback and he had to follow in the footsteps of quarterbacks who were runners.

“I had some big shoes to fill but each year has gotten easier for me,” he said.

Renfroe has learned how to handle the pressure of being down in a game like against Columbus last year. The Tigers were down 14-0 at the half.

“We got our team together, buckled down, stayed focused and were determined not to lose that game and we didn’t.”  

Renfroe has not lost a game since playing at South Panola.

“Being undefeated to me means that we work hard and we take it seriously,” he said. “We take care of business when we have to and we don’t let all the things get to us like when people talk about the winning streak or if we’re going to lose that year. Every year some people say that we’re going to lose one or two games but we just stay focused and do our thing.”

Winning the sixth state championship means a lot to Renfroe because they do not want to be the ones that do not keep it going.

“It’s my senior year and I want to go out winning six straight.”

A vocal leader is how Renfroe described himself and being a good role model for the kids.

“This year’s team is going to be a lot different than what most people have said,” he said. “We’re going to run more of a spread offense and pass the ball a lot more. This team has a lot of younger inexperienced players and I think we’re going to be fine.  The seniors are very close and have been that way for a while. We’re just ready to go out and show people what we can do.”

As far as playing other sports, Renfroe plays baseball and plays basketball on the sides for fun.

“I handle playing football and baseball by always wanting to win. It’s a competition out there and it’s a team sport. I decided this spring to come back and play football.

“I plan to go to Ole Miss after graduation but I also have the Major League Draft next June,” Renfroe continued. The draft is going to be big for me and I’m excited about that. If it doesn’t work out then I’ll go to Ole Miss and play there. Either way it’s good for me.”

Renfroe always wanted to play at Ole Miss because his father played there. Laddie Renfroe, who now lives in Olive Branch, held a few records at Ole Miss but the younger Renfroe wants to make a name for himself.

“My family is 100 percent right behind me,” said Renfroe. “They never miss anything I do.  If I ever need anything, they are right there.”

David is also the son of Kim Renfroe of Batesville and the grandson of David and Marty Snellgrove.

One person who has inspired David the most when it comes to becoming the athlete that he has is Al Snellgrove, his uncle.

“I’m real close to him and he played a lot of sports,” Renfroe said.

Snellgrove taught Renfroe about life, how to stay in good academic standing and how to be a good student-athlete.

In 2007, Renfroe completed 61 of 109 passes for 983 yards and 12 touchdowns. He threw five interceptions, and seven sacks, 28 punts, for 897 yards and 32 Yd. average, 59/63 PATs, 2/2 field goals.