JC two-way player Ethan Bower (22) scored on a 30-yard pass with the Longhorns offensive unit and contributed six tackles on defense in Friday nights loss to Chuckey-Doak. Photo by Joey Icenhour
By Tim Chambers
“It can still be a special season; we have a lot left to play for,” said senior Ethan Bower.
That kind of mindset has Bower emerging as one of the team’s leaders and elevating his play to All-Conference status. Bower, a 5’8, and 150 pounds of defensive back, wide receiver might not be big in stature, but he’s been a giant on the field for Johnson County. He has scored three touchdowns, two via way of receiving, and one on an interception showing his versatility as a player.
On Friday night against Chuckey-Doak, he hauled in a 30-yard touchdown reception to tie the game and added six tackles to his resume.
“It hurt,” said Bower about the loss. “It shouldn’t have happened, but it did, and now we have to regroup and not dwell on what could have been. We, seniors, have been together for a long time, so we’ll bounce back and play hard for one another. We got several rival games remaining, and we can still host a playoff game. There is too much left to play for to lay down now. We want to regroup and make the playoffs. We would love to play a first-round game at home.”
This type of mindset has allowed Bower to play much bigger than his size on the field. He has become the go-to receiver for quarterback Dalton Brown, and the duo has formed good chemistry.
“We keep telling the younger players not to give up,” said Bower. “Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation. That’s what we want to do here. We want to overcome the losses to Sullivan East and Chuckey-Doak.”
Bower has always shown his ability to overcome. He lost his dad Tommy at a young age who got Ethan started in football.
“He was the commissioner over football in our youth club,” said Bower before he passed away. “I have always loved playing football ever since watching my brothers play and seeing how much fun they had doing it.”
He’s following his brothers, Robert, Jake, and Jimmy, who were all standout players from Johnson County.It’s not been an easy street for Ethan, who has spent extra time trying and improving his game.
“I worked hard with my friends in the offseason,” said Bower. “I spent a lot of time improving my footwork. I did drills sometimes an hour or two hours a day on the practice field. I think it’s now showing.”
Bower said his role as a team leader is to let the younger guys know that your senior year doesn’t last long.
“It’s like here one minute and gone the next,” said Bower. “I don’t take it for granted. I want to make every minute count. You blink an eye, and it’s over.”
Ethan’s mother, Jeannie, is his biggest fan and can be found in the stands every Friday night.
“My family has been my biggest supporters” said Bower. “I owe a lot to them, especially my brothers, for all the support that they’ve given me. I quit playing in the third grade, and they got me to go back out. I’m glad that I did, and I owe a lot to them.”