Lemoore High running back and free safety Jack Foote is full of surprises.
He bucks convention -- whether it's his comparatively diminutive (to his brothers) stature, to his career aspirations, to his hero as a toddler.
What is known is that Foote will go about things in an orderly fashion and he will deliver, not always in spectacular fashion, but effective nonetheless.
Case in point was last Friday in a 12-7 victory against host Paso Robles. The senior caught three passes for 58 yards and a touchdown, rushed twice for eight yards, made two tackles and successfully defended one pass. Not eye-popping, but steady – and that’s what Lemoore needs coming off last year’s 2-8 record when it was outscored 328-186.
“Jack is very organized and clean,” his mother, Lanette Foote, said. “He cleans his room every night and then he’s ready to go the next day. He’s prepared for everything. He's organized and methodical.”
Not how "Broadway" Joe Namath approached things, but it works for Foote, who also hit .333 with 13 runs batted in last season for the Lemoore baseball team while making good on all 27 of his stolen base attempts. His record on the pitching mound was not tremendous (2-4, 4.20 earned run average), but he did strike out an impressive 39 batters while walking only nine in 40 innings.
Steady, almost to a fault.
That is no doubt how first-year football coach Rene Asencio knew he could switch Foote from running back where he made first-team all-league last season to receiver and not miss a beat. Foote just wants to be out there contributing.
“I just have a passion to put on the helmet and play,” he said. “In football you can be your own person, but you also have to work as part of a team. I also like the physicality of it – to be able to go out there and hit somebody.”
At 6-foot, 185 pounds, Foote does not appear to be as equipped as his brothers to deliver blows. His older brother, Mitchell Foote, is a former Lemoore lineman who is 6-3, 300. His younger bro, Daniel Foote, is a 5-10, 260-pound lineman on the Lemoore junior varsity team.
“People who see us together don’t even think we’re related,” Foote said. “But then they see how we interact and how goofy we are and they know we’re close.”
Athletic ability runs in the family. Foote’s father, Jon, played quarterback at Lemoore and was a teammate of future National Football League player Lorenzo Neal. Foote's mom played softball.
Although Lemoore did not post statistics on MaxPreps.com for last season, Foote had his moments. Chief among them was a four-touchdown night in a 37-21 win against Hanford West that included three rushing scores and an interception returned for a TD.
Assuming Foote is not the next Bo Jackson, he has an unusual backup plan: Nurse. We said he was full of surprises.
“My aunt is a nurse and I’m fascinated by how the body works,” Foote said. “I spend some of my free time visiting nursing homes.”
His 4.4 weighted grade point average will help in that pursuit. The Ivy League has crossed his mind, he said, though Foote had more blue-collar aspirations growing up.
“When he was little he loved Bob the Builder,” mom Lanette said of the early 2000’s cartoon character he fancied. “He wasn’t Jack, he was Worker Guy. He had a construction hat and tool belt and he went around the house, wanting to fix everything. We even went to a Bob the Builder concert at Selland Arena.”
Perhaps you recall the theme song:
"BOB THE BUILDER"
"Can we fix it?"
"BOB THE BUILDER"
"Yes we can!"
Foote still dons a helmet, but Tiger Stadium is now his workshop. Come Friday nights, it’s where he toils.