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The Drill: Starley's Bluejay arm just wants to let 'er fly

Minnesota West quarterback Brock Starley loves to throw the football

Minnesota West quarterback Brock Starley has a strong arm, and he loves to get footballs airborne.
Minnesota West quarterback Brock Starley has a strong arm, and he loves to get footballs airborne.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- Brock Starley threw 72 passes in a college football game against Mesabi Range this year.

A sophomore quarterback at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, he loves throwing the ball. And to hear him talk, he’d probably enjoy throwing more than 72 if he had the chance.

Starley, from Hurricane, Utah (it’s pronounced Hurr-i-cun, he points out), decided to attend Minnesota West after high school, in part, because he knew the Bluejays passed the football often. He chose to return to the Jays because he liked how they do business, and he also enjoyed his teammates and the coaches.

“I really found a second home,” he told The Globe recently.

Starley knows, of course, that a good football team needs to find a kind of balance on offense. Fans know that, too, but they also enjoy watching Starley’s tight, accurate spirals. The 6-0, 200-pound right-handed signal caller completed 39 passes for 410 yards in that 72-throw performance (Ian Stamer threw one, so the team total is 73), and in other games this year he attempted 49, 47, 33, 41 and 36 tosses. In six games heading into last weekend’s game against MState-Fergus Falls, he had completed 138 of 278 passes (49.6 percent) for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns (throw out that 9-41 effort against a powerful Rochester defense and his completion percentage would be much higher).

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Recently, Starley said he was still trying to see if 72 passes in one game is a school record, and he hopes it is. And no, his arm didn’t fall off from making so many throws.

“My arm felt fine after, and that’s how I want it to be. That’s what I signed up for, and I hope I keep throwing the ball that much,” he offered.

Starley’s non-football story is interesting in its own right. He has worn hearing aids since the age of 14. Holes in his eardrums caused him to lose approximately 35 percent of his hearing, and he still uses the aids each day except for when he’s playing football and sleeping.

His biggest inspiration is his father, and in the interview he seemed to fight off a hint of emotion when he talked about him. “His name is Shane. I love you, dad,” he started. “He’s always pushed me to get to where I want to, and he’s given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without him. And I just really appreciate that from him.”

You can see a video of Brock Starley online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What is the best advice you’ve received in your sports career?

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ANSWER: “The best piece of advice I’ve ever learned in sports is that you can’t change the past at all, so there’s no point in even looking back sometimes. You’re gonna throw interceptions, you’re gonna drop the ball -- no matter what position you play, you’re going to mess up. If that affects what you do next, then you’ll never succeed. So as long as you keep looking forward and want the ball again -- want another shot at it -- that’s what’s gonna separate you.”

QUESTION: Tell us about a great memory you have about something that happened to you in sports.

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ANSWER: “I think the biggest thing that I’ll always remember is getting my first win in college, at the Rochester game (last year). And just realizing as soon as you throw a touchdown -- as soon as you do something -- the guys are behind you, and they’re ready to rock with you. It doesn’t matter what position. If you make plays and you love the guys around you, you’re gonna succeed.”

QUESTION: What do you like to do when you’re not playing football?

ANSWER: “My favorite thing to do outside of sports is hang out with my friends that I’ve made here. The coolest thing that I think I’ve gained from Minnesota West is the friendships. I’ll be walking around and my friend group consists of me, who’s from southern Utah, a couple of local kids from Adrian, and then some of my other friends who are from Chicago. You never really expect guys like that to meet, and that’s been the coolest thing.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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