by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--It's "Friday Night Lights" but on a slightly smaller scale. An eighth grader at Bonham Junior High in Odessa has a talent for football and that talent is raising some eyebrows.
14-year-old Heath Wood is the starting quarterback for the eighth grade Bonham Owls who went undefeated this season.
His talent at tossing the pigskin has gained him a slot on the roster at the FBU Youth All-American Bowl in San Antonio. You might be interested to know, this isn't the first time this rising star has made an appearance there.
According to his father, Chad Wood, "He was selected, last year, to the Youth All-American Bowl. Then, he was selected again, this year, for the All-American Youth Bowl, as quarterback."
With smiles on all their faces, Heath and his parents admit he's had a love for football, playing the game since he was in the first grade. Now, seven years later, he's become a standout among his peers.
"It's a great honor because it's a lot of guys that push themselves like me and my friends do. I know it's going to be a lot faster and it's going to be a lot funner. It's going to be a great experience," Heath said.
Video highlights of Heath and his fellow Owls, helped nab him the QB position, from among players from all over the country and beyond.
"This is players from the United States and Canada that were selected for these games," his father explained.
According to his mother Debbie, Heath will be one of a handful athletes from the Lone Star State playing for the same team, "On the West, the team he'll be playing with, they'll have kids from California and Hawaii. There's several from Texas. I think there are four or five that were actually selected from Texas this year."
This young quarterback has dreams of going to college and maybe someday making it to the NFL. Heath says he's going to keep his head straight and take life one day at a time.
His middle name might as well be humble, since he's sure to give credit to those who helped him obtain this achievement.
"I just want to thank my teammates for pushing me and helping me through this season, my family and my coaches," Heath said.
That's a trait that seems to run in the Wood family.
"He's really worked hard and I know we're excited for him. It's not just him, but it's his teammates, that he was with day in and day out at Bonham," Chad added.
Heath and his West teammates will have four days to learn how to work together and play as a team and, hopefully, bring home the victory.
"We're just glad that he can represent West Texas, not only Odessa, but West Texas, in this event," his father said.
Heath added, "I know there's a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations but, I know, all I can do is try my best and what happens is what happens."