Red Bay man joins Orlando Predators
Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m. on NFL Network. That is the time and date that anyone in the country can watch Randy Lowery, a native son of Red Bay, play in the Arena Football League for the Orlando Predators.
Lowery, a 2005 Red Bay graduate and 6’ 2”, 220-pound wide receiver, has found his way onto the professional football team. He has come a long way since playing for the Tigers from 2002-2004, back when Red Bay was “whipping everybody.”
“I went from Red Bay and played JUCO ball at Northeast Mississippi,” he said. “Then I went to the University of West Alabama. I played under Coach Bobby Wallace. Will Hall is the head coach now; he was my offensive coordinator when I was there.”
It’s been a bit of a rocky road for Lowery, who has had chances at playing in the NFL derailed by injury.
“I came out last year from West Alabama, and that was when the NFL was having the lockout. I went to the NFL Combine, Pro Days. I ran well, did real good. Then I went into a mini-camp and I pulled my hamstring before the lockout ended.
“That made it to where I couldn’t go into camp. That kind of hurt me. I just recently worked out for some teams in the past couple of months in the NFL. I ran well; I ran good 40 [yard dash] times, stuff like that.
“They were the ones that wanted me to play Arena ball and get some film, because I’ve been out a year. They want me to prove I can stay healthy. That’s how I ended up here down in Orlando.”
Lowery hopes to make an NFL squad after getting some experience in the AFL, which is more competitive than some people may think.
“Any time you get to play professional football it’s a privilege, whether it’s Arena ball, the NFL or the CFL in Canada,” Lowery said. “The competition is great. They’re about 11 games into the season, so I was sent down here to play the last six games. I’m down here with guys like Simeon Castille from the University of Alabama.
“Our quarterback is Chris Leak, from the University of Florida. They won the National Championship with him. The competition, it’s not a joke. It’s the real deal.”
Lowery said that even though he is looking for a spot on an NFL roster, he will not forget his roots.
“You just think about where you came from, and all the hard work and hours you’ve put in that brought you to this point,” he said. “You’d rather die before you give up. It’s been a long road.
“All the sacrifices I’ve made and sacrificing my body, you think about all of that stuff. When you do get that opportunity, when a guy lines up across from you, you’ve got to have it in your mind there’s no way he’s going to take this from me.”
Lowery also will not forget the support he finds back home.
“I really want to thank my family for being so supportive and always encouraging me to be the best player and person I can be,” he said. “I give God the glory for blessing me and giving me the opportunity to play this great sport.
“I would also like to give a huge thanks to my papaw Johnny Wayne Childers, who recently passed away. He instilled in me the intangibles it takes to be a winner and was always challenging me to better myself as a player. I learned through him to never be content with my game. Work harder than anyone else, and good things will come.”