Prep football: Turner lacks fear, stands out for Winfield
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For all the football skills Winfield's Chris Turner possesses, one characteristic he doesn't carry with him is fear.
Turner, a junior wide receiver, boasts many of the talents necessary to succeed on the gridiron, with size, speed and work ethic, though those closest to him say it's his lack of fear that makes him exceptional.
"Nothing intimidates that kid," Generals quarterback Toby Show said of Turner. "Any time he lines up on the ball, he knows he can beat the person across from him. He knows it, and he lets me know."
At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Turner has the size of a tight end, but the speed and hands of a wide out. The combination of abilities gives Turner confidence to overcome defenders, Coach Craig Snyder said.
"I think he knows that most defensive backs, if they hit him, they can't hurt him, because he's so big," he said.
Turner translated that confidence into a great performance on Friday, leading Winfield to a 35-14 win at Nitro. Turner finished with four catches for 78 yards, including three touchdowns. Turner scored a fourth touchdown on a 57-yard interception return.
The level-headed Turner deflected his achievements, though, and said the victory was the bottom line.
"I always feel like I'm going to have a good night, but it's more important for the team to have a good night," Turner said. "Any way I can help, I just try to help. I'm happy it turned out the way it did, but anybody who scores or anybody who does anything good, that's fine with me. It doesn't have to be me."
As Show's go-to receiver, it's often Turner, though, making the big plays. On the season, Show has completed 109 passes for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns. With approximately 70 more passing yards, Show will become the school's single-season passing record-holder. Turner has been on the other side of that production with 40 catches for 566 yards and four touchdowns.
The connection between receiver and quarterback makes everything work easier, Show said.
"We've always had chemistry," he said. "He's a big kid, he's fast, he's strong, and I always know if I can get the ball to him, he'll go up and get the ball. There's no worries."
In addition to quickness and great hands, Turner, who also plays basketball, utilizes other skills to reach greater heights than his opposition.
"He just goes up and gets the ball," Snyder said. "It's kind of his basketball skills. We don't coach that. We throw him the ball and we teach him the routes and work on positioning, but we're not stupid. We know that he's a tough matchup for everyone."
Basketball might have ranked higher on Turner's interests entering the season, Snyder said, but that perhaps isn't true anymore given Turner's success this fall.
"Chris is a great basketball player, too, and I think basketball is his favorite sport, but it's funny, the better he does in football, I think basketball and football are kind of equal again (in his mind)," Snyder said.
Whatever the case may be as to Turner's sport preference, there's at least one certainty for Turner when it comes to football: he's not afraid to do what it takes to succeed and win.
"Any time if I see he has a slight opening, I just put the ball to him and he'll go up and get it," Show said. "He's strong, he's fast, and he has big hands, and you can't stop that."