TOUCHET — When Colton Goble stepped foot on U.S. soil he couldn’t speak a word.
Nowadays, the 5-foot-5 Touchet High School senior is usually the loudest player on the football field.
“He’s got a real attitude about enthusiasm,” Goble’s head coach Gary Dorman said. “He really enjoys keeping everybody’s spirits up. There’s no problem finding Colton on the field whether it’s before, after or during a game.”
Colton was not always the team’s cheerleader, as his coach affectionately calls him.
When his parents adopted him from Russia at 3 years old, it took Colton six months before he could talk, his father, Darren Goble, said.
As someone who was adopted himself, Darren said adoption takes devoted parents who are eager to raise a child.
“It takes two loving parents to adopt a child and it’s quite a process to adopt,” Darren said. “You really have to want a kid to go out and adopt one.”
The adoption process itself, which usually takes between a year to a year-and-a-half, Darren said, lasted less than six months for the Goble family.
That process resulted in the Gobles finding Colton, as Darren said all the cards fell into the right place. To understand the person Colton has become, look no further than the family who brought him stateside.
Colton was taught the importance of working hard at a young age. Colton, Darren and Darren’s father spent countless hours tending to the family farm, where the youngest Goble observed the value of meticulousness.
“We have our ups and downs, but we’re a family and my family taught me a lot of work ethic,” Colton said. “It just teaches you how to work and that’s one of my big strengths out here on the football field.”
Outside of life on the farm, Colton found a common hobby with his father and grandfather — football.
Darren, who played at Touchet when Dorman was a defensive coordinator, sent his son to play at his alma mater.
But Colton’s size limited his initial impact on the game. He entered as a fleet-footed 5-foot, 100-pound kid who appeared to be too small to play most positions on the football field.
“We hoped that he would be able to develop over the course of a couple years to be a real solid player for us,” Dorman said. “Watching the progression of him gaining confidence, gaining the experience, has been a lot of fun.”
Colton battled, however, and blossomed into his own during his four years on the Indians.
Unlike his father, who calls himself “the quiet type,” Colton is known for exuberant celebrations and constant cheering.
“I’m very enthusiastic with these guys,” Colton said. “Someone has to do it. Being out there on defense all the time and offense most of the time, you’ve got to keep these guys going. Fourth quarter, you can get tired, but we keep the enthusiasm up.”
Attend any Touchet game, and even if you don’t see the 5-foot-5 defensive lineman, you’re bound to hear him shouting on the sideline.
With all the wisdom his father imparted, Colton’s zeal is one trait he developed all on his own.
“He’s always been very vocal,” Darren said. “He likes to talk and I think that’s on him. Some things you’re just born with.”
It has not always been that simple for Colton, though, as injuries and eligibility issues forced Colton to grow both on and off the field during his time at Touchet.
During his sophomore season, Colton suffered a high ankle sprain that kept him out for more than three weeks. After returning to the field, Colton lasted only three plays before re-injuring the ankle, which caused him to miss the rest of the season.
But rather than throw in the towel, Colton did everything he could to remain an active part of the team. Whether that meant collecting gear at the end of practice or helping the coaching staff, Colton treated it like anything else — with enthusiasm.
That passion can be attributed to a father who taught his young son to take nothing for granted.
“We definitely helped culture it,” Darren said. “It’s internal. He’s taught on the farm, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. You’ve got to do what it takes to get the job done.”