CJ Newman: Leading the way to the next level


Photo by Sanir Byanjankar

Senior captain and linebacker/running back CJ Newman prepares himself for the start of the game. To get ready, he listened to music including the song, “Forever” by Drake. “Sometimes before a game I’ll give a little pep talk to the team, pretty much telling everyone to have confidence,” Newman said.

Senior linebacker CJ Newman is one of the four captains of the varsity football team, working alongside seniors Jalen Scott, Walker Prince and Alphonse Mansare. While leading the team this year, he is also focused on getting the opportunity to continue his football career by playing in college.

At this point in the season, Newman has an offer from Gettysburg College, a private liberal arts school in Pennsylvania.

Both on and off the field, Newman has leadership qualities that make him an effective captain.

“I’m someone that anyone can really come talk to, even if it’s not about football. Family issues, personal stuff, I’m there for all my teammates,” Newman said.

Newman and Mansare work together to make sure the team has the best chance of winning each game. The two of them use their experience to ensure that the team is centered and on the same page every play.

“CJ is one of my great friends. He takes charge and I assist him. When we’re playing a tough opponent, the hype builds up naturally by both of us keeping focused and narrowing our energy towards the goal of winning,” Mansare said.

This season, sophomore defensive lineman Jonny Fisher is playing on varsity for the first time. After playing quarterback for the junior varsity team last year, Newman is one of the upperclassmen contributing to Fisher’s success.

“CJ is a great captain. He’s big about focus and making sure we give it our all. He pushes everyone to get better and have a good practice because he knows it’s what we need to win. He’s not selfish at all and he is a great team player. He helps everyone no matter what position, grade, starter or not, etc. He’s a great player,” Fisher said.

Newman had a unique opportunity when he had the chance to play for the junior varsity team of one of the best teams in the country. He attended North Bethesda Middle School for sixth and seventh grade, then moved to Ohio for eight, ninth and tenth grade. In Ohio, he attended St. Edward High School, which was ranked 17th in the country for football at the time.

“The players around me were committed to play big division one football for schools like Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State. It really brought the competitiveness out of me. I really learned how to take a hit and be aggressive. I looked up to them so that I could strive to do what they were doing,” Newman said.

Another opportunity that Newman earned was an invitation to the National Preps Champion National Combine. Being a part of the combine allowed Newman to see the Shrine Bowl, a big college bowl game, as well as attend the Pro Bowl. Head coach Larry Hurd Jr. assisted Newman in getting this invitation.

“CJ is dedicated to the game and he puts a lot of time and effort into the game both on and off of the field. He spends a lot of time in the weight room and a lot of time studying the other team. He consistently puts a great effort into practice,” Hurd Jr. said.