November 6, 2011
In the midst of many changes at Charlottesville High School this fall, Graham Rolph was one constant that the team depended on throughout the football season.
With a new head coach in Eric Sherry and a team full of inexperience and youth, the senior captain helped motivate his fellow players through the ups and downs of a one-win season.
"At some points it's been hard keeping people focused," Graham said about his teammates. "But overall everyone wants to win and wants to play for the program."
"It's easy for attitudes to go down when you're struggling and not winning," said Sherry. "But he's done a great job just by his work ethic. He shows up, he works and doesn't do anything wrong in school so I think that's a really good leadership quality."
Graham is one of many local athletes that's found a balance between academics and athletics, but also volunteers his time with the Habitat for Humanity and Cancer Awareness clubs.
"He volunteers one day a week doing those things. He doesn't really talk about it, but it's the time of quality kid he is. He's going to be a really good man"
Graham's concluded his high school football career Friday night, in the debut game on Charlottesville's brand new turf field. While linemen never get much credit for their efforts, Graham enjoyed his time in the trenches.
"I guess people don't see it as much but it's really a competition, like 1-on-1, who can beat the man in front of him. I find that fun and it's exciting."