ST. GEORGE — Jersey numbers mean different things to different people. For some, they are to pay homage to their favorite player or carry on a family tradition.
For Blue Ridge quarterback Xavier Kane, the reason for donning the No. 2 for the Barons is more personal.
“I wear the No. 2 because it means there’s always someone working [harder],” Kane said. “I always want to be the underdog and have someone say that I can’t do something. Always being No. 2.”
The senior quarterback from Christiansburg took a back seat to no one last Saturday during Blue Ridge’s 47-33 victory over Hargrave Military Academy. He amassed 540 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns to garner Schewels Athlete of the Week honors.
“I wasn’t really in a zone, I just knew we had to win this game and I would do anything in my power to make that happen,” Kane said. “Everything happens for a reason. We may not know that reason, but it does, and I felt like [Saturday] was just my night.”
Kane’s stat line for the game would’ve made the best Madden football gamers proud. He completed 19 of 35 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns, including two strikes to Icesys Lewis. In addition, the senior rushed for 218 yards and a pair of scores, including a 34-yard jaunt with less than five minutes to play to seal the win.
For Kane, it was just business as usual.
“I honestly didn’t realize I was having a big game,” Kane said. “I was just doing what I was told. I thought I had an OK game until afterwards, when [associate coach Dale] Anderson told me my stats. Hargrave always had six in the box and the [offensive] line did their job giving me enough time to bounce it [outside] and get the ball to our athletes. That’s all I did, really, was give the ball to our athletes and let them be playmakers.”
This isn’t the first time the Blue Ridge product has feasted on the Tigers. Last year, he threw for more than 250 yards in the first half during just two quarters of action.
“[Blue Ridge] Coach [Jimmy] Wills just asks me to be the playmaker that I am, though some of the stuff I do may give him a heart attack,” Kane said.
Wills was impressed by his quarterback’s performance.
“His performance Saturday is one of the best I have ever seen by a quarterback,” Wills said. “Xavier is a true dual-threat quarterback and having a player like him on the field gives our team confidence and always gives us a chance to win. It is a pleasure to coach such a special student-athlete.”
Three years ago, Kane joined the program and served as an understudy to all-state quarterback Justin Armwood. That year, he played wide receiver and earned all-state honors as the Barons took home the state title. He took over as the starter last year and his game continues to flourish.
“He has been a great leader ever since,” Wills said. “His knowledge of the game and athletic ability is impressive, but it’s his ability to remain calm and make plays under pressure that makes him special. He has a unique ability to create big plays, even when the initial play breaks down. Xavier is also a good student and a high-character young man, both on and off the field.”
The commitment to his academics and athletics is what brought Kane to Blue Ridge.
“Athletically, I was attracted to being able to work on me,” Kane said. “You are in the middle of nowhere, so you really have no time to worry about anyone else, besides you and your Baron brothers. Academically, I was attracted to it being at a college [level], preparing me for the next level, wherever that may be.”
The work, both in the classroom and on the field, has been evident. Kane currently holds a Division I football offer from Howard University and a Division II offer from the University of Charleston in West Virginia. James Madison, Virginia, Concord, Furman and Shepherd have also expressed interest.
“That’s a huge opportunity I think is taken for granted,” Kane said. “You’re playing for a free education and it would mean the world if I could go to college and make an impact on anyone’s program.”
He plans to major in business and technology and pursue a career in federal sales.
The Blue Ridge School keeps him plenty busy. Along with football, Kane plays basketball and baseball and even runs track for the Barons. Last year, he even branched out and was part of the student broadcast team for the school’s lacrosse team.
“Commentating lacrosse was different,” he said. “I didn’t know very many of the terms, but the more I did it, the more I loved doing it.”
Outside of athletics, Kane has several unique interests. In the classroom, his favorite subject is English, and he feels that helps him become more tied into the real world in today’s society.
The senior also enjoys working on cars along with his father. He said his dad has a Jeep Wrangler that they have worked on, as well as a Jeep Grand Cherokee that he currently drives.
“I’m a huge car guy,” he said. “I like doing exhaust, lift [kits] and lowering it to make it look and sound good. The goal is to eventually have a Procharger on the Grand Cherokee. My dad started with his jeep and ever since then, I’ve had this fascination to make my car better with cheaper stuff.”
Just like his work under the hood, Kane knows there’s still plenty of work to do to keep the Barons’ offense running at top efficiency.
“This season the goal remains the same, make it to the state championship,” Kane said. “We have the potential to be a very special group. We need to buckle down and be coachable and just take it one game at a time.”