Volume 103, Number 21 - January 25, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Pinedaleís offensive receiver on the outdoors and his favorite pro team
At 18 years old, Pinedale High School senior Joe Steege has already realized one of his lifelong dreams. The athlete, who plays as both an offensive receiver and an outside defensive linebacker, will play in this summerís Shrine Bowl. The football game pits the northern half of the state against the south, and draws its players from counties throughout Wyoming. Joe will play on the southern team. Big Pineyís Seth Linn and Trevor Wilson will also play in this yearís Shrine Bowl.
Joe came to Sublette County as a kindergartner. He is a three-season athlete, playing football and basketball and running track every year of his high school career. He lives with his dad, Richard; mom, Debbie and little sister, Jordanne. His father, a P.E. teacher, football and head track coach at the high school, encouraged his interest in athletics. Every year since he was eight years old, Joe remembers attending Shrine Bowls with his dad, who liked to watch players he trained compete at the state game. He said he always dreamed of playing on the team. One year Joe got to watch the game from the sidelines, when his dad was chosen to coach one of the teams.
Outside of sports, Joe likes spending time with his family and friends and girlfriend of 13 months.
How was this past football season?
For me it was kind of a struggle, but I enjoyed it just because itís football. I donít think thereís a better sport. I had fun even though our record was one and seven.
What do you like most about playing offensive receiver and outside linebacker?
My favorite is offense. I like having the ball in my hand so being a receiver is good. Also, I love to catch it [the ball] in the open field. A running back is usually in tighter positions. For defense, [being an outside linebacker] is just a really good spot to be in on defense because you can really see where the ball is going. Itís fun to see if a guy can beat you to the outside, and turn the corner on you. Thatís part of the outside linebackerís job - to protect the outside of the field.
Youíre not that big. Is it difficult to be in the field with larger guys?
With my size, I have to make up for it with the mental part of the game, knowing where the ballís going, and with my speed.
What do you think about when youíre on the field?
Oh gosh, lots of things. I thank God for letting me be there, for just for giving me the chance to get out there and play. Iím always thinking about my teammates, and, if we win, having fun with my teammates. If not, encouraging them to keep trying.
Do you ever wish you played quarterback?
No, I like where they have me.
Do you wish Wyoming had its own professionalfootball team?
Well, Iím not a Broncos fan, Iím a Steelersí fan. Growing up, someone told me and my friends that the Steelers were cool, so we started rooting for them. But I donít know if I would like it if Wyoming had a professional team. Iím fine with the pro teams around the nation. It doesnít matter to me.
I know you have a girlfriend, but are girls impressed when they find out youíre playing in the Shrine Bowl?
Shyly laughing. Um, to tell you the truth, I donít know how many know about that right now. Just Sarah and my family, and they are all really impressed and supportive. Word hasnít gotten out in the school. But Iím sure Iíll get congratulated when everyone finds out.
Outside of football, what do you like best about Pinedale?
The outdoors. I like pack trips and going to the mountains and seeing the lakes. I think itís awesome.
Where in the world would you most like to travel?
Alaska, to hopefully hunt and fish with my father someday.
Do you prefer playing team sports like football to hiking or camping?
I like the strategy part of team sports, being able to try to out-think and outplay someone else. Iím so competitive, so I like team sports. If I ever had to choose between a football game and going on a camping trip Iíd choose the football game.
Would you like to play college ball?
Yes. Currently, I have talked to Mesa State coach in Grand Junction, CO., and am hoping to sign on with the Mavericks (Mesaís NCAA Division II football team ).
Any plans to come back to Pinedale?
I guess it depends on what I decide to do in school. Iím undecided right now about what to study in college.
Who is your hero
Thatís an essay question they would ask you in school. My grandpa, who passed away last winter. He was just a really big fan of mine and somebody I really looked up to. He was one of the people in my family who really emphasized wearing the number 22. Itís a family tradition, passed down, that we wear the number 22 when we play sports. I like to wear the number now, in remembrance of him, in any sport I can. Iíd definitely consider him to be a hero of mine.
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