Last year at this time, not a lot of people knew who Colby Newburg was as he spent his junior year on the bench. Now, after coming off a magical season which included a trip to the state finals for the first time in school history, Newburg announces his commitment to play football at Saginaw Valley State University. “It’s unreal,” Newburg said, “Especially because I didn’t play at all my junior year and because I was really small. I didn’t know what could happen after I got bigger and had a breakout year,” Newburg added.
When Newburg wasn’t playing during his Junior year, he was training at the Michigan Elite Conditioning for Athletes in Novi (MECA). The training was the biggest key to help with his success on the football field. “They had me put on 31 pounds in 12 weeks and also dropped my 40-yard dash down from a 4.8 to a 4.55. We worked on strengthening my throwing arm. They did more than I asked for,” Newburg commented.
Newburg played his first game as a varsity quarterback week one this year against Livonia Churchill and had a pretty good game for his first start of the season. “I was nervous about it, but it was exciting. I had a good game, but I knew I could improve on a lot of things. I was just excited to get back on the field and to finally be the starting quarterback,” Newburg stated.
Part of what made Newburg so successful this season is the mental preparation he goes through before the games and says that’s a big part of what made him successful. “I mentally prepare a couple of days in advance before the games. I visualize myself making a perfect throw and scoring a touchdown, and certain music gets me pumped up and on the bus rides. I put my headphones on, close my eyes, and visualize myself making big plays,” Newburg added.
What also made Newburg successful is how calm he can be during high-pressure situations. Keeping his cool paid off in the semifinal game against Belleville, which sent Brighton to their first state final appearance in school history and the first state final appearance for a Livingston County football team. “This season taught me how to stay calm in high-pressure situations, especially during that last drive against Belleville. We had to stay calm and not waste an opportunity to score, which we ended up punching in,” Newburg said.
The memories made going to the state finals will last forever. Still, Newburg’s favorite high school moment was, of course, “the catch.” Newburg threw the ball into the endzone, and it was caught by Brighton running back Nick Nemechek. Newburg says that was one of the greatest moments of his life. “Just beating that team with the caliber players that they had was something I will never forget for the rest of my life,” Newburg stated.
The Brighton Football Program means a lot to Newburg and says he has created friendships that will last a lifetime. “It means a lot. The community loves football, and it definitely shows. The students and community traveled really well and showed up at all of the home games. Our stands were always full. Also, just being with the boys I grew up with means a lot as well. We all trusted each other, and it helped push us to Ford Field,” Newburg said.