Palmer hoping to go out with a bang|Former Northside star a captain for Chowan Hawks

Published 10:19 am Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sports Editor

Hoping to lead by example on and off the field, Greg Palmer is ready for his senior season. Palmer enters his final year with the Chowan Hawks with high expectations, and his teammates have high expectations for him.
The former Northside great, voted the 2004 WDN Defensive Player of the Year, has been named a co-captain for the Hawks.
“It was a great honor to be named team captain,” Palmer said. “Everybody looks up to me. I try to lead by example on the field and off the field. It was an honor my teammates chose me as team captain.”
The 6-3, 251-pound defensive end, who wears No. 43, had a solid junior season with the Hawks. He finished with 48 tackles, including seven for-loss. Palmer recorded five quarterback sacks, recovered two fumbles — taking one back for a score, and forced two other fumbles.
Because of his stellar play, Palmer earned CIAA Second Team honors.
“That felt good when they called my name,” Palmer said. “I was surprised to hear that. That was the Lord blessing me.”
The affable Palmer had a number of solid games, but his highlight came on homecoming. Palmer had a monstrous game, finishing with seven tackles, two quarterback sacks and a fumble return of 28 yards for a touchdown. That earned him CIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
He’s hoping for bigger and better in his senior season.
“I just want to get better technique-wise and have a better knowledge of the game,” Palmer said. “Of course, I want my numbers to be better. I want to get double-digit sacks.
“Most of all, I want to win.”
Palmer, who will earn a sports management degree in May, reports to Chowan Aug. 9. He’s been working out on his own this summer, working on such things as endurance, footwork and defensive line moves.
“You can be athletic, but not have any technique,” Palmer said. “Technique is the big thing I’ve been working on this summer.”
Palmer is hungry for a solid final college season.
“I’m excited, but at the same time I’m saddened knowing this is my last go-around,” Palmer said. “I just want to go out with a bang and help my team win a ring.”
Once his college career is over, Palmer plans to prepare for NFL Pro Days.
“I’m hoping to get a free agent deal,” Palmer said. “If not, I’ll look into the CFL.”
Palmer knows he’ll be competing for an NFL roster spot with mostly Division I players.
“I just have to give it my all, especially coming from a smaller Division II school,” he said. “I have to be 10 times better than guys in Division I.”
Playing at smaller schools, including Class 1-A Northside, has put something of a chip on Palmer’s shoulders.
“You always have to have a different mindset,” Palmer said. “To me, I always felt like I had to work harder than the next person. I’m always training and working harder to be better than everybody else.”
Palmer said he can offer plenty to a team.
“I bring leadership and I also bring some nastiness,” Palmer said. “I understand what the coaches are trying to do, so I’m able to bring a lot of knowledge as well.”
The Hawks open the season Aug. 27 at home against Albany State.