William ‘Gage’ Outlaw, to put it mildly, makes plays.
This week’s Brian Allen State Farm Insurance Male Athlete of the Week plays football and baseball at North Duplin High School.
The sport Outlaw first played was baseball. He started playing America’s pastime in childhood, but he wanted to switch things up as he grew older.
“I played baseball my whole life,” Outlaw said. “Football, I played a little bit of recreational, but then I skipped all of middle school.”
During his freshman season, Outlaw decided to start playing football, and he joined the Rebels football program.
It did not take Outlaw long to find a role on the team, and after learning the ropes for a season, he landed a spot as the Rebel’s starting quarterback.
“When I finally caved in and said yes, I did not know I would enjoy playing football as much as I have,” Outlaw said. “It’s more a family atmosphere at North Duplin because of the size. Everybody is friends with each other and it feels like they’re brothers with each other, and it’s so tight-knit.
“Everybody comes to support us, and there’s nothing like Friday night.”
As the team’s starting quarterback, Outlaw is a vital part of Rebel’s offense, and he understands all the responsibilities of being the starting quarterback. In two seasons in charge of the Rebel’s option offense, Outlaw has rushed for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Outlaw’s leadership enables the Rebels to succeed on the field, and the Rebels are likely to be contenders in the Carolina 1A Conference this season, which starts in February.
“We’re expecting to make it into the playoffs,” Outlaw said. “We’ve already set that goal in our heads. We think we’re going to be pretty good, so we’re expecting to be good, but my biggest thing is keeping the grades up.”
After playing football in the fall, Outlaw moves over to the baseball field in the spring.
Outlaw has played on the varsity roster since he was a freshman, and Outlaw said he is happy with how his game has progressed on the baseball diamond.
He has a .340 batting average, .410 on-base percentage, with 22 RBIs and five doubles.
Outside of athletics, Outlaw’s most important mission is working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, student government, and helping younger players with their drills. He is unsure of where he will attend college next fall, but he is interested in East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
“I try to stay involved in everything because I know it’s about to come to an end,” Outlaw said. “I try to help younger players because I know they’re the ones that are going to be playing once I’m gone. It’s the legacy at North Duplin that older players help younger players.”