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Meet Newton's fab freshman
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Ten seconds after the bell sounds Kenneth Patrick is worried about being late for class.

It's a testament to not only Patrick but the entire football program, as academics stand before athletics, and the true freshman quarterback knows it.

At the time, he is held up because an award is being presented to him based on his play last week against Lithonia.

But he receives the award for a noteworthy cause, as the unexpected leadership from Patrick led the Newton Rams to an 11-7 victory - their first of the season.

Based on his performance, Patrick has been selected as the Chick-fil-A Prep Athlete of the Week.

"It was very exciting," said Patrick. "It was tough in the first half, but we came out (in) the second and did what we had to do to get the W."

After a shaky first half, Patrick recovered to score what would eventually be the game-winning touchdown during the fourth quarter.

"We just put good plays together (and) executed," said Patrick.

The drive began after Patrick connected for a 31-yard pass to Demetrius McCray, who made a wonderful catch. Several plays later and after two quarterback sneaks, Patrick found the end zone on a 1-yard keeper.

Earlier this season, Patrick started full-time at quarterback against Morrow. Prior to that, he was sent all the way back to the ninth grade team, primarily based on his inexperience and lack of preparation.

"Once he understood what happened, he went down there and really showed us then that this could be our guy," said Newton head coach Nick Collins. "A lot of kids would go back and pout and complain, but he went down there and flat took control of that team as quarterback. (We) never had to tell him to hustle, and we knew then (that) the kid is special."

According to Collins, Patrick is right on target in regards to where he stands at this point of the season.

"All the coaches have helped developed my game," acknowledged Patrick.

In addition, his older brother, Andre, has been a positive influence in his young life as not only an athlete but a human being.

So, where does Patrick stand in the grand scheme of things, primarily in three years?

"I told our coaches the other day that I (have) to get more office furniture," smiled Collins, "because there's not going to be enough room for the college guys to sit at one time."