Bookie Radley-Hiles: The Story Begins

Written by Brendan Radley-Hiles and Evan Miller
Published Monday, September 7, 2015

Hey it’s me, Brendan Radley-Hiles back with another diary. I want to take this time to talk a little bit about the first two weeks of the season. Our first game was against Chandler, the reigning state champions from Arizona, and our second game was against Bingham, the reigning state champions from Utah. No cupcake games to start out the season for the Bishop Gorman Gaels.

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Before the Chandler Game

I’ve been playing football as long as I can remember. It’s what I love. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know I have the skills to be the best and the work ethic to get there. The first game of the season was my first varsity game but football is football and the mindset of being the best never changed. The whistle blew to start the game and my varsity career started. But let’s rewind and go back to how I got here…

 

The Offseason Is Just As Important As The Season

 

When you work your hardest to achieve your goal it is that much more gratifying. That is exactly what I planned to do. The offseason was long and hard. I work harder in the offseason than most people do during the season. To be the best you have to train with and against the best. I have the luxury of a training partner who is the best at what he does; my cousin, Tyjon Lindsey. During the offseason there is nothing more important than work ethic. While others are sleeping, I am up grinding, preparing for the season months before others even start thinking about it.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to Fail”

 

Every person has a different preparation routine. I am not one of those guys who go silent the day before the game. Some people do though and there is nothing wrong with that, everybody has their own thing. Before the Chandler game I had to make sure my preparation was perfect, it was in fact my first varsity game. What did I do to prepare? First off, this game was not on a Friday so I didn’t have class and I had the whole day to get ready. This game was not just a game, it was the start of something special, the start of the Brendan Radley-Hiles story.

Warming up before Chandler
Warming up before Chandler

My preparation began by watching some highlights of some of my favorite defensive backs. Guys like Tyrann Mathieu, Vernon Hargreaves III, Jalen Ramsey, Karl Joseph, and KJ Dillon are players who I hope to emulate on the field. Those guys play corner the way the position is supposed to be played. They play without fear. I play the same way. I don’t fear anybody or anything. I knew I was going to go against one of the best receivers in my first game. N’Keal Harry from Chandler is a beast, and he looks the part too. I made sure to watch his comeback route that he has used to burn so many cornerbacks. I was not afraid. I was awaiting the chance to line up across him and show the world what I could do.

What did I think about before the game? I was thinking about the student section and making sure that they were not disappointed. The fans at Gorman are used to greatness and I wanted to make sure that they didn’t see anything but greatness. I was thinking about doing my job, I had to make sure that the linebackers and the safeties understood that I wasn’t going to let them down. I was ready. I know what I am doing.

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What sounds were filling my head on game day? I had my headphones in listening to my survivor playlist to get me ready for the game. That is one thing that doesn’t change from game to game; it’s always part of the routine. As the game drew closer and closer two things stood out. I heard my brothers’ voices telling me, “You’re meant for this.” And the line, “Don’t be scared you here now,” from the musician YG. I play for my family and my brothers. They inspire me and give me confidence to be the best.

What was I seeing as the game time approached? Deep inside the heart of the city that never sleeps awaited a full stadium, full of media, full of classmates, and thousands watching on their TV’s nationwide. I saw my family as they awaited the entrance of the Gaels. My mother and my family were looking at me as I put the number 4 to the sky. And then it began. The first part of the story was starting to unfold. Smoke was everywhere as we ran from the tunnel and took the field to face Chandler.

Getting ready to run out of the tunnel
Getting ready to run out of the tunnel

Kickoff was just moments away. So many things were on my mind. This truly is the start of something special. A moment I will never forget. Not many people can say they have played on national TV and an even fewer can say that their first varsity game was nationally televised. The play I was envisioning and hoping for was a Will Linebacker Blitz, which would leave me one on one with the five star, N’Keal Harry. Before I could even start thinking about what would happen in that moment, the ball was kicked off and it was time for my journey to unfold. I was ANXIOUS, I was EXCITED. I was NEVER NERVOUS. I was READY.

 

The Story Starts

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To start the season USA Today ranked us a top five team but not the number one team even though we won the national championship just last season. We felt like we had been disrespected and went into the season with motivation to reclaim OUR SPOT at number one. We played Chandler on a Saturday night. We scored on our first drive of the game, which was great for team morale. I felt bad for Chase Lucas, the Chandler senior running back who is a great player, when he got hurt early on in the first quarter and was forced to sit out for the rest of the game. Close to the middle of the third quarter I stepped onto the field knowing I would be covering N’Keal Harry. I was waiting on the comeback route that I studied for. I was backed off the line giving him some room. He ran the comeback route that I studied for, caught it for thirteen yards but I made the tackle right as he caught it. I was waiting on the route and I was ready. We ended up winning the game 35-14 and showed why we are the best team in the nation. In the coming days we were ranked number one in the nation once again.

My cousin Tyjon Lindsey (left) and Myself after the Chandler game
My cousin Tyjon Lindsey (left) and Myself after the Chandler game

In week two we were set to travel to Utah to play the reigning state champions, Bingham. It was another early test for us to prove why we are the best team in the nation. Our game was on Friday this week so we got to Utah on Thursday, so we had two days of preparation to get ready. Unlike versus Chandler, there was no one player to key on like I did with N’Keal Harry. The game started off uneventful but during the second quarter we started playing our game. We went up double digits and took a 17-point lead into halftime. The team was clicking and we were playing great. The offense put up 31 points before the end of the third quarter while our defense held them to just two field goals in through three quarters of play. I had a key tackle on special teams and played my game on both offense and defense. We ended up winning the game 38-20 to move to 2-0 on the season.

Rasheed Nailer (24), Myself, and Tyjon (25) before the Bingham game
Rasheed Nailer (24), Myself, and Tyjon (25) before the Bingham game

It has been a great start to the season and I can’t wait to take the field Friday, September 11 against Bellevue. Make sure to follow me on twitter @Bookie_44 to keep up with my season and follow @RecruitDiaries to get updates about when all the diaries go live.

 

-Bookie

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