Valdosta Daily Times

Top Sports News

November 20, 2013

A Valiant senior class:

Part four of a in-depth look at Valwood’s 2013 senior class

VALDOSTA — Spencer McQuaig, Thomas McTier, and Char Merine make up part four of the series:

Valiant senior Spencer McQuaig has left his mark on Valwood.  A four-year member, he has helped pave the way during the rebuilding process of the team.

During his time as a varsity football player, he has grown and matured into such an integral part of the team that he has even earned himself a self-explanatory nickname amongst his peers.

“Spencer is really smart,” Head Coach Ashley Henderson said.  “Around here, we call him ‘Coach’.  He’s a leader and his teachers will tell you the same.  He’s a great kid…he gets it from his parents.”

Quite the vocalist, McQuaig is not afraid to speak his mind for the sake of bettering his teammates.

“I’m going to tell the guys what they need to hear,” McQuaig said.  “I’m going to tell you what to do and how to do it…It may not be in the nicest way, but they know it’s always for a good reason.”

While the younger players may remember him for his outspoken personality and leadership qualities, McQuaig will forever hold quite the fond memory of his teammates, particularly his fellow linemen.

“To me, that front five (on the line) has always been one unit,” McQuaig said.  “Being able to mesh with those guys is something I’ll never forget.  Those are my friends…You know that when you turn around they’re going to be there no matter what.”

Like most of his senior teammates, McQuaig is looking forward to his future.  His college of choice is Ole Miss, but if he is unable to attend school he will remain in Georgia at either Valdosta State University of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  He plans to major in marine biology.

He expresses heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the invaluable lessons that he has learned during his time as a Valiant, both on and off the field.

“Being here (at Valwood) has definitely helped me with time management,” McQuaig said.  “But most importantly, the school and the faculty have taught me the importance of morals.  We’ve learned the value of doing the right thing.  Overall, I can say being here has made me a better man.”

McQuaig is the middle child of Doug and Derrith McQuaig.  He has one older brother (Taylor) and one younger sister (Claire).

Thomas McTier is a senior lineman for the Valiants.  He has played varsity football all four years of high school.

His natural and normal position on the field is on the defensive line, but his ability to adapt to any situation allows him to be valuable in many more aspects. 

He occasionally spends time at tight end and is also a key component of the Valiants’ special teams.

“Thomas is such a good football player and just a great young man,” Coach Henderson said.  “He plays tight end, defensive end…He’s a valuable asset to this football team.”

Like many of his fellow seniors, McTier has been a big part of the team’s rebuilding process.

“I’ve attended Valwood since Pre-K…I’ll never forget that state championship (in 2012),” McTier said.  “It felt great after putting in so much work.  It definitely paid off.”

McTier is multi-talented athletically.  Aside from his prowess on the gridiron, he also spent two years as a member the varsity basketball and baseball teams at Valwood.

Perhaps most important, McTier’s abilities extend beyond the realm of athletics.  He is also an outstanding student and puts forth a full effort to his studies.

“Thomas is having his best year academically,” Coach Henderson said.  “He’s currently at around a 3.5 GPA.  He’s a hard worker and way more mature than most kids his age.”

After high school, McTier plans to attend Valdosta State University and pursue a degree in either finance or business management.  McTier credits the structure of Valwood’s academics for his progression in the classroom.

“It’s so much easier to handle a bigger work load now,” McTier said.  “I don’t get overwhelmed because my teachers and coaches have been instrumental in helping us with time management.”

McTier is the son of Tom and Kelly McTier.  He has one sister (Sarah).

Senior Char Merine is currently in his second season as a Valiant.  Prior to his junior year, he moved with his family to Valdosta from Jasper, Fla. where he attended Hamilton County High School.

“(Char) is a tremendous leader for this football team, both on and off the field,” Coach Henderson said.  “Great kid, great mother, great father…He does all the little things to make an impact.”

Merine is a dangerous presence on the football field, but his talents don’t end there.  He is also a member of the school’s basketball and track teams. 

Outside of athletics he also keeps himself busy throughout the school year.  An active student, Merine was a regular member of the Student Government Association and the Superintendent’s Cabinet at Hamilton County High School prior to his transfer to Valwood.

“(The superintendent’s cabinet) was basically a panel that would meet once a month and discuss issues at the school,” Merine said.  “Once a month, we would go over the needs of various clubs and organizations.  We were hand-picked by the superintendent.”

Like many of his teammates, Merine’s humble demeanor often masks his constant efforts to improve himself and his teammates, whether in athletics or academics.

 “Char is outstanding on the field,” Coach Henderson said.  “But, in my opinion, the biggest play of his career is the exceptional score he earned on the ACT (exam).  All of his hard work is opening doors that will take him such a long way in life and I’m couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Although unsure of what college he would like to attend, Merine plans to pursue a degree in either nursing or pre-dental after graduation.  He would like to go into a field where he is able to help people, and he credits Valwood and his family for instilling those values in his everyday life.

“I’ve always been taught that you have to stay positive at all times,” Merine said.  “It’s all about encouragement, whether in a game or in life.  You can’t worry about an outcome.  It’s only about being the best you can be.”

Merine is the son of Charles and Chris Merine.  He has one older brother (Charles II) and one younger brother (Marik), the latter of which is currently a junior running back and defensive back for the Valiants.

Text Only
Top Sports News
  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lowndes_Tville 2.jpg Sneak Preview

    Fall practice doesn’t start for another eight days.
    Still, Lowndes High and Thomasville High got a sneak preview of what Friday nights will look like Wednesday morning at Martin Stadium.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • LeBron: I'm coming back to Cleveland

    Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

    July 11, 2014

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS_passing1.jpg Rounding into Form

    With the National Select 7-on-7 qualifier looming Friday, Valdosta High School is hoping to be rounding into form.

    July 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • Valdosta5K2.jpg Let Freedom Run

    Fireworks and family barbecues have become the common way for Americans to celebrate the day the United States separated from England, but over the past nine years citizens of Valdosta have developed another Independence Day tradition: the annual Valdosta 5K.

    July 5, 2014 3 Photos

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results