“I was immediately interested because I liked the opportunity of being able to be a part of first-year team,” Petty said. “Being able to start something new—I was very excited about that.”
To prepare himself to some degree for that first game but more so for those first few weeks of grueling practice, Petty has been busy working out at CrossFit Pulse in McDonough.
“I usually work out with one class for five days a week,” Petty said.
The offensive lineman has also been running three days a week and prioritizing lifts such as squats, power cleans and the bench press to build his stamina and strength, which his coaches suggested.
Petty is also taking this opportunity very seriously because there is a lot to learn.
“The best thing about college football is being on the next level with players who are better than me and can teach me some things,” Petty said. “It’s a whole new challenge. A lot harder. You have to be really dedicated to be able to play a sport like this in college. You can’t slack.
“It’s a much bigger chore and responsibility changing from high school to college and that is why I’m excited about the new challenge.”
But Petty doesn’t want his first year in college to go like a lot of freshmen who play sports—on the sidelines watching most of the action.
“I would really like to be one of the top linemen,” Petty said. “I want to be one of the team leaders. I would love to be one of the team captains. I would like to be able to play on the same level as guys two years older than me.”
Petty should definitely have the chance to protect whomever the starting quarterback is since majority of the roster consists of freshman.
“I’m hoping we will have a lot of team chemistry and be able to do our best,” said Petty, who will major in engineering. “We have some skilled guys but we just have to be able to put it together.”
The Vikings’ first game will be against Maryville at Barron Stadium in Rome on Sept. 7.
I know we are not going to go undefeated and I'm not going to be looking for that, but I'm going to be looking for everybody to be playing at their highest ability," Petty said.