By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
When James Singleton took over the Fort Gibson football team last year, he knew he had the horses in the key positions to make the team successful, like senior running back Jake Gandara and former Tiger Lane Dortch.
What he was glad to find out is he had the players that were willing to do the grunt work without seeking the limelight, like senior lineman Jake Farmer.
“Jake is a blue-collar kind of kid,” Singleton said. “He comes in, works hard, does his job and doesn’t complain. I wish I had 100 kids like him.”
Farmer, a three-year starter, is excited to see the football team is undefeated, 6-0 for the first time since 2003 heading into Friday’s game at Muldrow.
“We’re realizing that we’ve got something special going on here,” Farmer said. “It’s nice to see all the hard work the last two years starting to pay off. Fort Gibson hasn’t been unbeaten at this point since most of us were little kids.”
One of the players that knows what kind of person Farmer is Gandara, who with Farmer has played on the same team, along with Andrew Brestel, for so long that Gandara isn’t sure whether it was the third grade or fifth grade. Together, the trio is known as “The 3”.
“I can’t remember Jake not being there,” Gandara said. “I can’t imagine me running without him there. I’ve gotten used to following that big rear end in front of me.”
Gandara is also quick to point out that Farmer is a leader who will get in a player’s face when he needs to.
“He works so hard on and off the field,” Gandara said. “Ever since the fifth grade, he’s given it his all. His toughness is something I’m going to miss the most, like during Summer Pride. When Jake speaks out, everyone listens and we know if he gets mad, we better get back to business.”
A quality that Farmer attributes to his upbringing and the values instilled in him by his family.
“I get my work ethic from my dad and grandfather,” Farmer said. “I mean, I have always seen them work hard and I don’t know any other way.”
Farmer is also aware that a part of his life will be coming to an end, hopefully in the middle of December, and he wants to make the most of it. Whether he continues playing football when he goes to college or not, Farmer realizes this may be the last time he sees some of the guys on the team.
“I do think about it sometimes,” Farmer said. “I mean, I might not see these guys for a long time after this year. I can always come back and see the coaches but the guys, we will all go our separate ways after some time and lose contact.
“So I want to make the most of it right now.”