NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - New Bern junior football standout William Lovick is our newest WITN Pepsi Player of the Week!
This time last year, the Bears were already in hibernation. They finished the 2018 season with just two wins.
But during the offseason, New Bern brought in a new head coach. They hired Torrey Nowell from nearby Pamlico County.
With Nowell came former Hurricane running back, William Lovick, and there is so much to love about Lovick.
"Will Lovick is a very smart football player, and he's been working his butt off," Nowell said at practice Monday.
And that hard work is clearly paying off.
Lovick credits his football I.Q. and overall toughness for his success.
"My will to continue and just keep going," said Lovick. "I'm probably not the fastest guy, but I just know my abilities, I know what I can do, and I take advantage of it."
In fact, through three varsity seasons, Lovick has already compiled more than 3,300 rushing yards, recently surpassing the 2,000-yard mark this season alone.
"He's just a hardworking, smart kid," added Nowell. "He's really tough, and he doesn't mind battling in practice, and he doesn't mind stepping up and saying the things that other people don't want to say to get guys going."
So Lovick is already a leader despite this being his first season with the Bears.
"When he came over [to New Bern], he just told me he just wanted to work as hard as possible and get back to playing ball with his boys he grew up playing ball with."
So Lovick actually played his first two years with Nowell over at Pamlico County. He then transferred ahead of this season though because he says he's a New Bern kid through and through.
"I'm a kid from New Bern who grew up playing with every single one of these boys you see out here today," explained Lovick. "And I just said there's no better chance to go back than with a coach I know I can trust and lead us in the right direction."
That trust has been instrumental to New Bern's resurgence this season.
"I guess you could say like a big brother, little brother situation," Nowell said.
Big brother (Nowell) says the ceiling is high for little brother (Lovick), who wants to study engineering and hopefully play football at the D-I level.
"[I want to] do as well as I can, and continue to work and continue to push myself to limits I know I can reach," Lovick said.
Lovick and the top-seeded New Bern Bears (10-2) host No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons (10-2) in the third round of the 4A state playoffs this upcoming Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
For more on Lovick, check out the video above! (Feature airs Tuesday during WITN Sports at 6:20 p.m.)
NOTE: If you have a student-athlete or athlete that you would like to nominate as a WITN Pepsi Player of the Week, please email a bio to Tyler Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.