January 21, 2012

JMU gets a Steele

A second team all-state (AA) pick by VirginiaPreps.com and ranked among the State's top 100 senior prospects by the Roanoke Times, Gage Steele was one of the very first commitments for James Madison's Class of 2012. The Warren County standout played both ways, excelling as a running back on offense and a linebacker on defense.

Despite having to deal with an injury last fall, Steele still had 103 tackles and six sacks from his linebacker position, helping lead the Wildcats to their second straight appearance in the regional playoffs. On offense he rushed for 984 yards on 119 carries and scored 13 touchdowns. As a junior Steele put even more impressive offensive numbers, rushing for 1,772 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns.

A first team All-Evergreen District selection Steele is also a standout on the Central track and field team, having posted impressive numbers in both the 400 meter relay (the Warren County 'team' posted a ninth place finish at the state finals last spring), and in the long jump where he placed 11th in the state meet as a junior.

What has Steele done to prepare for football at James Madison? "I did a lot of weight-lifting prior to the football season," Steele said. "I stayed in the weight room most of the time, went to a lot of camps at JMU and Virginia."

Steele will be long remembered as part of a group that helped turn the Warren County football program around. As mentioned above he helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever playoff appearance as a junior and then helped lead the team to a return trip to post season action as a senior.


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