Name: Noah Altman
Fall Sport: JV Football
Years on Junior Varsity: 1 year
Height & Weight: 6’1”/165 lbs.
Experience: 9 years (began playing football when he was seven years old)
Noah Altman has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by McNair Auto Sales. Altman’s nomination comes as a result of his integral part in leading the Richmond Senior High School junior varsity football team to a perfect 10-0 season and a Sandhills Athletic Conference title. A reserved but respectful young man, Altman’s quiet demeanor off the field fittingly compliments his passion and desire to win on Thursday nights.
RSHS Academics: As a sophomore, Altman is an A/B honor roll student who is currently enrolled in all honors courses. This semester he’s taking Honors Biology I, Honors English II, Math Honors III and Honors Weight training. Altman noted that this year he’s introducing himself to the AP cluster by also taking AP Government, which he explained is his favorite class.
“AP Government is definitely my favorite class,” Altman said. “Taking an AP class is helpful in boosting my GPA, but I’ve always liked geography and history.
“I also get to make a lot of real-world connections from things I learned in AP Gov,” Altman continued. “My family likes to travel, and I’m able to reference things when I travel. It’s pretty cool to be able to apply what I’ve learned.”
RSHS Sports: As a freshman, Altman only played football. This year, he hopes to try out for the Raiders golf team in the spring. It is a sport that he said his father, Scott Altman, introduced to him at a young age, which he now enjoys. Altman also made several connections to how football and golf two totally different sports, but each of them teaches him to be better at the other.
“I love golf because there are so many connections to football,” Altman said. “Many people might not think that; in football, my mind is racing all the time and it’s so physical. Golf is the opposite; it’s much slower paced.
“But they’re similar because both force me to remain composed,” he continued. “People are coming at me in football, so I have to stay under control. With golf, I’m pressured to not make a bad shot. Both sports teach me to remain focused.”
Extracurricular Activities/Community Involvement: Altman explain that because football is an all-the-time sport and occupies most of his time in the fall, he doesn’t get to participate in as many extracurricular activities as he’d like. But he is a general member is the National Beta Club, and plans to start attending the Fellowship of Christian Students. Looking ahead, Altman said he’s interested in joining student senate when he’s a senior and getting more involved in different activities around campus.
Altman is also a member of Second Baptist Church in Hamlet, where he is active in the youth group. One of his favorite things to do at church is go on mission trips with a program called World Changers.
“I’ve been to a lot of places with World Changers and other mission trips with my church,” Altman said. “We’ve gone to Toronto, New Orleans and Chattanooga. But my favorite mission trip was to St. Louis.
“It was my first trip,” he continued. “We were picking up rocks in the rain and I didn’t really like it at first. But then I realized that I was helping people who needed it. I encourage anyone who wants to give back to other people to check out World Changers. It’s a great program.”
Hobbies: Despite being busy with football, Altman places a heavy emphasis on spending his free time studying and doing homework. But he does enjoy his down time with friends and family, most notably traveling.
“Traveling is something my family does that we all enjoy and brings us closer together,” Altman said. “We go to Bald Head Island, N.C., at least once a year, but my favorite place I’ve ever been is New York City.
“Going from a small town like Hamlet to New York City, where there is everything, was a culture shock,” Altman explained. “There was everything you could imagine there; and seeing how people live differently makes me appreciate what I have in Richmond County.”
Other hobbies Altman enjoys are attending church regularly, as well as trying to expand his football knowledge by watching a lot of online videos and film of college and NFL football. Altman also plays a lot of football video games because he said it actually helps him understand different aspects of the sport.
Interesting Fact: Altman chuckled when he was asked to answer this question because he said he’d been thinking about it all day. But he was able to come up with two interesting facts.
The first is football related, as Altman described himself as “a giant Patriots and Tom Brady fan.” He says he looks up to the New England quarterback and watches a lot of film on him to see what he’s able to do to be successful and tries to mimic it.
His second interesting fact is that Altman enjoys binge watching shows on Netflix. He said he’s watched the entire series of Hawaii 5-0 in a matter of weeks, and recently started watching The Office.
College Aspirations: As he’s only a sophomore, it’s commendable that Altman already knows what he wants to do after high school. But before he graduates, he wants to ensure that he maintains a GPA higher than 4.5 and wants to graduate near the top of his class. To do that, he’s going to be taking several AP classes as a junior and senior.
In terms of what he wants to study, Altman plans to attended a four-year university and get his degree in business. Schools that he’s interested in vary, as his first choice is Duke University. But he’s keeping his options open. His current plan is to return to Richmond County following graduation and begin working for his dad at Griffin Nissan in Rockingham. His ultimate goal is to eventually manage the store.
At this point, Altman is not ruling out playing college football.
“There are big expectations in my family to play a college sports,” Altman said with a chuckle. “My dad and uncle (Heath Altman) played Division I baseball at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. My uncle (Mike Griffin) also played Division I basketball at Winthrop University. So, I feel like I’ve got to keep the tradition going.
“I’m hoping to play well enough in high school to get a scholarship,” Altman continued. “I’d love to go to a Division I program and play football. I’ve just got to keep working hard now to get there.”
Mentors: When discussing his mentors, Altman chose his father and his junior varsity head football coach Patrick Hope.
“My dad, Scott Altman, is one of my biggest supporters with school and football,” Altman said. “He has a good understanding of the game (of football), and is always pushing me to do my best.
“When he was a junior in high school, he got sent down to the junior varsity baseball team,” he continued. “But then he went on to play DI baseball. He’s taught me to have a ‘don’t-give-up’ mentality and reminds me to stick with things when they get tough.”
Hope, who went a perfect 10-0 in his first year as the JV Raiders head coach, has had a major impact on Altman even after just one season.
“Coach Hope is a great dude,” Altman noted. “He’s done so much this year to help me with my understanding of the game. He’s taught me a lot of strategy, and that it’s not just athleticism that wins games on the field.”
Player of the Week Stats: Up until the week of the junior varsity team’s season opener at Wake Forest High School, Altman wasn’t sure if he’d be named the starting quarterback. He had a feeling he would win the competition between him and fellow sophomore Justin Morman, and he was right. And it’s a good thing that Altman was put under center, as perhaps the Raiders wouldn’t have gone undefeated if he wasn’t.
Through 10 games this season, Altman was responsible for 12 total touchdowns; eight passing and four rushing. He helped lead a Raiders offense that averaged 29.7 points a game this season. Hope noted that more detailed stats (completions, yards, etc.) are not kept at the junior varsity level.
Going 10-0 is quite an accomplishment. Describe the process of getting there and winning the inaugural SAC championship.
“When the schedule was released, my initial thought was we were going to lose to Wake Forest because they were the best team in the state,” Altman admitted. “And during spring practice, we had our struggles. We were trying to learn a new system with a new coach. But all season long, I was just another piece to the puzzle. My teammates did just as much as me, and my linemen and backs helped me do my job.
“By working out three days a week in the summer, things started to come together,” he added. “We knew we had a lot of tough opponents, especially Wake Forest, who hadn’t lost in three years.
“When we beat Wake Forest in overtime, we knew we had a chance to do something special,” Altman continued. “We were super focused all season and used that confidence to beat a really tough Butler team 6-0. And from that, we were able to beat a 5-0 Jack Britt team; and then go on to close out the season with an emotional game against Scotland.”
What are your expectations for your junior year and your first on varsity?
“I recently had a meeting with coach (Jay) Jones about my season evaluation,” Altman said. “I thought I had a pretty good year, but looking ahead to next year, Caleb (Hood) will be the starting quarterback. But I want to make the coaches to have to make a decision (at quarterback).
“My goal is to compete,” he continued. “I want to work hard every day and fight for playing time, whether it’s at quarterback, wide receiver or on defense.
“Next year is an ‘eight’ year,” Altman concluded. “Richmond has won state championships in 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008. The fans are getting eager for another one, and I want to be a part of winning it.”
Coach’s Corner: Hope, who wrapped up his inaugural season at the helm of the Raiders junior varsity program, noted that Altman was worthy to be named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week because of his growth throughout the season.
“Noah’s success on the field was a result of him becoming a student of the game,” Hope commented. “His mental approach and preparation Monday through Wednesday turned into confident execution on Thursdays.
“He has worked very hard to understand the whys and hows of football,” Hope added. “All of this will make him a solid varsity prospect next season.”
Look for Altman on the Richmond Observer’s flagship news program Live at 5, as he’ll be in studio for Wednesday’s edition.