Woodland’s unsung hero


Bobbie epitomizes meaning of team player

Woodland senior David Bobbie (51), who has the tenth most rushing yards in team history, made the switch from running back to offensive line during this season for the betterment of the team. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland senior David Bobbie (51), who has the tenth most rushing yards in team history, made the switch from running back to offensive line during this season for the betterment of the team. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

What makes a team player? Someone who will do anything he or she can to help the team in any way possible, even if it’s not in their best interest or something they want to do.

That perfectly describes David Bobbie.

The Woodland senior has played running back for years for the Hawks and currently has the tenth most rushing yards in school history. Yet, this year, he is playing a different role.

After injuries took their toll on the Hawks’ offensive line early this season, head coach Chris Anderson approached Bobbie about a position change.

“It’s never easy to have to tell a player that has been carrying the ball, a lot, that ‘Hey, you’re going to the offensive line.’ You worry as a coach is this going to break down the spirits and confidence of a kid. David handled it as a man and understood that that is what is best for the team right now,” Anderson says.

Any worry that Bobbie’s confidence would be shaken quickly melted away as the Hawks ran his way, and did so with great success.

“I feel that every week I am getting better at it. I am coming around,” Bobbie says. “It was hard to go from running back to a lineman but I feel like I have been able to get the job done.”

Bobbie noticed another difference, too, mostly in his uniform.

“The biggest difference for me was that I really enjoyed my number before,” Bobbie says. “I had to switch from 32 to 51 to be eligible to play on the line.

On a more serious note Bobbie adds, “It is definitely different. Instead of going through the holes now I have to create them. Being 176 pounds it’s definitely hard going against kids that are 300 plus.”

While Bobbie may be smaller than an average lineman, the senior took to his new role quickly. He credits his coaches with making the transition easy.

“[Anderson] definitely has more intensity than past coaches and he wants us to learn so he will show us physically what we need to do and he will draw it up on the board, too,” Bobbie says. “He wants what is best for the team even if it isn’t the best for one person. He wants us all to win; it has to be a collective thing, and that’s how he runs the ship.”

Bobbie slid into his new spot at right guard next to fellow senior, 6-foot 3-inch, 320-pound right tackle Semir Dervisi.

“He has been an anchor for us,” Anderson says about Dervisi. “If he is not an all-league or Class S all-state tackle, I don’t know what is.”

Being next to a player of Dervisi’s caliber certainly helped Bobbie’s transition, and the O-line quickly accepted their new brother in the trenches.

“Bobbie is one of those team players that would sacrifice for anyone. So when he came in it just showed how the line could bond no matter what, we all melded together,” Dervisi says.

Anderson noticed how well the transition went, too.

“[Bobbie] didn’t complain about it, he picked up the position very quickly, quicker than I anticipated him doing, and once we got Cody Doyle back we were able to move him back into the wing and then back again into the offensive line.

“It’s pretty remarkable that a high school kid could switch in the middle of a season from O-line to running back back to O-line,” Anderson says. “The reason why he is able to do it is because of his attitude, which has been unselfish and role playing whatever the team needs, and that’s really what our team is all about.”

That’s what the next team Bobbie is joining is all about, too. The senior is training, even during the season, to become a Marine.

“Dave is always working hard. He will do anything to make the team better. He isn’t selfish and does whatever needs to be done,” senior wide receiver Jon Scirpo says. “What other way would you describe a good soldier?”

Bobbie’s tremendous patience, unselfishness and dedication were rewarded Nov. 13 versus Kennedy when he scored his first touchdown of his senior season.

“We were able to switch him from O-line to fullback and have him get in the end zone. We felt it was important to get Dave Bobbie a touchdown because he has been one of the unsung heroes for us. Switching back and forth, I mean we don’t know which jersey he’s going to wear in the game. We have been bringing two jerseys to the games,” Anderson says.

For the record, the jersey Bobbie wore on the touchdown run was number 51, earning him the distinction of the only Hawk to run for touchdown in the history of the program wearing that jersey.

Editor’s note: This article appears in the Citizen’s News’ special Thanksgiving football section published the week of Nov. 27, 2015.