Rhino Charge’s George Marinos recently sat down with Hanover Rhinos offensive lineman and team captain Travis Garretson, and asked him questions about anything and everything.
GM: I’m here with offensive lineman Travis Garretson, #99 for the Hanover rhinos. So, Travis, the Rhinos are a family affair for you this year as you get to play with your brother in law, Rich Settle. What’s that experience been like so far?
TG: It has been really fun for me to be on the field with him. He is a couple years younger than me, so I was at all his high school games, and watched him progress drastically to go on to the college level, then I got the chance to play for the Rhinos and they asked me if I knew anyone who could play, I knew where to look.
GM: You’ve had experience playing in other leagues, could you tell me a little about that?
TG: My first semi pro season was last year. I tried out for the (York) Generals (Independent Football League), and at the try out, team owner Javan Matthews, who was a player for the York capitals, came up to me and said, ‘You’re gonna be on the field,, I’m gonna make you good.’ So we worked and worked and I could tell I was getting better. We played the 2-time defending champs our first game. I was nervous as hell, I thought there was no way we could compete. We ended up losing by 1… I think that boosted all of us, knowing we could compete. We won all the rest of our games and made the championship game. We lost
21-0, but it was so cool that this little York team went out and competed with teams from Philadelphia and Delaware.
GM: That is a pretty awesome experience. You’ve played in York, and now in Hanover. Would you describe yourself as a small town guy, or do you have plans to go to the big city someday?
TG: I’m definitely a small town guy. I live in the middle of nowhere and I love it.
GM: Where did you go to high school?
TG: I went to Freedom Christian Schools in Gettysburg. They don’t have a sports program.
GM: I’m sure a lot of our readers don’t know what it’s like to go to a Christian school. What are some of the differences between that and a school like Littlestown, for example?
TG: We were a very small school. I knew everybody in the school. We were all pretty close for the most part. We would do our class work just like other schools. Biggest difference was, Fridays we would have a church service at the end of the day. It was pretty nice, I wasn’t much for sitting in a classroom, so it got me out of that and it would get us to focus on the real reason we are all here.
GM: Why are we all here?
TG: I don’t know what your belief is, but, I believe the Lord put us here to help one another.
GM: One of the big Christian holidays is coming up- Easter. I have to ask- do you prefer white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?
TG: (chuckles), Definitely milk chocolate.
GM: What are the last 5 songs on your music playlist?
TG: Long hard road- Allen Jackson…..Healing Begins- Tenth Avenue North…..Till I Collapse- Eminem….All Around Me- Flyleaf….. Stricken- Disturbed.
GM: You have a wide range of tastes in music. What do you think of country rap?
TG: Not a big fan of it at all.
GM: Is it because it’s an awkward combination, or is it just really bad?
TG: It’s just bad all around. (chuckles).
GM: Hahaha. So, you are a captain for the Rhinos this year. Was that chosen by the players or the coaches, and what did it mean to you?
TG: (Rhinos’ owner Chris) Bunty chose me to be a captain this year. I was not expecting it at all. I was really excited, but at the same time, I was a little worried, being a rookie in this league and having players that have played for the Rhinos for a couple years, and trying to earn their respect. It was a little tricky at first, especially with my intense personality on the sideline, but it seems like everything changed after we beat Franklin County. I had a bunch of guys come up to me personally and congratulate me. This is definitely the first team that I’ve played for that is truly a family.
GM: What kind of congratulations did you earn from your teammates after game one?
TG: A bunch of hand shakes, a couple hugs. the whole O-line came up to me. Those guys are where it starts.
GM: Are there any responsibilities a captain has that are surprising?
TG: Not really. Obviously, you want to go out and play hard, but the biggest thing is keeping the guys together.
GM: When you’re not playing for the Hanover Rhinos, how are you spending your time?
TG: When I’m not playing football, I’m spending time with my wife, hunting, fishing, and going to the races at Lincoln Speedway.
GM: One last question. What do you guys hope to accomplish this year as a team?
TG: Well, obviously, we want to win, but I want us to make a statement in this league…We don’t have to win every game, but I want people cringe when they hear they got to go against our defense, or (opponent) coaches trying their best to stop our offense. I want to compete with the best!
GM: Thank you for your time, Travis.
TG: Sounds good, thanks buddy.
Remember, you can catch a new Q&A session with a Hanover Rhinos player on Wordy Wednesdays, every Wednesday, exclusively on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos.