Havelock Rams quarterback Travis Sabdo accomplished a lot in his junior season.
Still, he’s not content.
The 6-foot-1 leader of the Rams’ offense guided Havelock to a state championship last December, was the Offensive Most Valuable Player of that game and threw 36 touchdown passes to just five interceptions.
Still, Sabdo feels he can improve.
“I can’t take anything for granted,” said Sabdo, a rising senior. “We know everybody is going to give us our best shot, and we know we have to play well every Friday night.
“We have to keep getting better, keep staying humble and go out and play how we know how to play.”
Sabdo, entering his second season as Havelock’s starting quarterback, has had a busy offseason in preparation for attempting to bring the Rams a fourth-consecutive state title.
Aside from throwing routes with his wide receivers during down time, Sabdo and the Rams are competing in weekly 7-on-7 competitions. He’s been attending quarterback camps and is one of the 100 finalists to try out for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
The Rams won the Beast of the East 7-on-7 June 14 in Greenville and they are heading to Hoover, Ala., July 17 to 19 for the National Select 7-on-7 Championships.
In between, Havelock’s been playing against area teams, such as Pamlico last week.
“I’ve got some drills that I do in the preseason and offseason and I have some great receivers who come out with me and run some routes to keep my arm in shape,” Sabdo said. “I’ve stayed busy and I work on my game every day – my footwork and watching film. I try to get better each week.”
Sabdo threw for 2,458 yards last season.
With the departure of star running backs Derrell Scott and Taylor Woods, Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant expects the Rams to throw just a little bit more in the 2014 season.
“(Sabdo) can get a little better. We don’t ever want to be satisfied with where we are at, and neither does he,” Bryant said. “His passing goal this year should be 4,000 yards and 16 games.”
Sabdo hasn’t lost a game as a high school quarterback. He won 20 games as a junior varsity quarterback and then went 16-0 on varsity in 2013.
Bryant said Sabdo is doing everything as expected from a second-year starting quarterback. It helps having his father, Bob Sabdo, as an assistant coach.
“He’s doing a good job at being a leader on the field and off the field. He’s been like a coach on the field,” Bryant said. “He’s been more vocal on the field and pushing the guys.”
Sabdo has the luxury of having most of his wide receivers back — Matthew Boykin, Micheal Bowman and Kyran Bowman — from last season.
“Chemistry is a good thing, especially when you are a quarterback. We have great receivers and they run good routes and I have great timing with them,” Sabdo said. “I need to keep working on that chemistry and keep working on that timing. Chemistry and timing are key, especially on pass routes.”
Havelock has its first official team practice on Aug. 1 in preparation for the 2014 season-opener against Washington on Aug. 22 at Havelock High School.
Adam Thompson is sports editor of the Sun Journal.