By Megan Hecox
If you’re new to the game of football, you probably don’t know much about the different positions and what they do. And you’re not going to. At least not today anyway. This article was written for two purposes. To define the offense position and then introduced you to the muscle and backbone who make up the Mansfield Tigers.
The offensive line or “O-line” is made up of 5 players whose job is to block the other teams’ defense from tackling their running backs or quarterback. You have the center, 2 guards, and 2 tackles. The tight end is also a part of this group as he can either play on the line or as a receiver. The job of the O-line is to block a specific player or a specific area if it is going to be a run play. If it’s going to be a pass play, the offense is to do everything in their power to protect the quarterback.
The Mansfield Tigers have 11 players who make up both the offensive and defensive lines. For right now though, we focus on their offensive accomplishments. Keaton Boyd, Trevan Favela, Colton Stipins, Isaac Cothran, Bri Sanderson, Jacob Brown, Victor Steffen, Zach Lowe, Dustin Holland, TJ Simmons, and Lorenzo Alarid (who unfortunately was out for the season due to an injury) are the silent beast who run the line. The Tigers ended 4-3 in conference play and 7-3 in overall regular season play. In those 10 games alone, the O-line was a key factor in helping to achieve a combined offensive total of 3,168 passing, rushing, and receiving yards. The offensive line was awarded the game ball after their West Fork win for their part in paving the way for a 300-yard rushing game.
Playing center for the Tigers offense is Junior Isaac Cothran whose proudest moment of the season came during his final game at Osceola. Jogging out to the field before the start of the game, he looked at the stands and saw the incredible turn out of the fans. At that moment, he realized they really did have a town backing them up. Isaac fell in love with the game of football at an early age. He saw that by only doing one thing, you could not only change a game but change the stadium as well.
Playing at the offensive guard positions are Seniors Trevan Favela and Keaton Boyd. Trevan was most proud of the season when the Tigers made the Playoffs, proving everybody wrong. Trevan started playing football because of his love for the game. When he was little, he used to love watching football with his brother and couldn’t wait to start playing once he hit the 3rd grade. Keatons proudest moment came when the Tigers scored the final touchdown in their game against Melbourne. As for playing Sr High football, well it almost didn’t happen for Keaton. The football program was in bad shape before Coach Bentley got hired on. With low numbers, Bentley knew that he had to do something. So the few players that were remaining gave Bentley Keatons number and the call was made. Without that call, Keaton would be watching the game from the stands instead of playing on the field.
Sophomore Bri Sanderson and Junior Jacob Brown play the offensive tackle positions. Making the Playoffs this season was Bri’s proudest moment. His father and his Uncle Chris were the inspiration behind Bri playing football. Both had played football and were able to give him pointers and encourage him to give 100%. For Jacob, his proudest moment came during the Hackett game when the offense held the last possession and the Tigers scored the winning touchdown with a minute left in the game. It was because of his dad that Jacob got into football. His dad used to play in High School and wanted Jacob to have the same positive experiences and enjoyment that he had.
Playing in the tight end position for the Tigers is Senior Colton Stipins. Coltons proudest moment of the season was when he and his teammates conquered what they set out to do at the beginning and that was to make it to the Playoffs. Playing football was a no-brainer for Colton. He had always heard stories of his dad playing football. In those stories, his dad was described as a “Beast” on the field. Because Colton looked up to his dad, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Junior Zach Lowe experienced his proudest moment in the season during week 4 when the O-line gave runners the space to rush for 300 yards and gave up 0 sacks. Zach was inspired to play football at an early age because of his older brother Cory. Zach’s brother had told him how much fun it was to be a part of a team and that hard work mattered. After Zach had joined football his brother was at every single home and away game supporting him the entire time.
Making it to the Playoffs was Sophmore Victor Steffens greatest moment of the season. He knew that his team would go down in Mansfield history as one of the few greatest teams to make it. He knows the Tigers will continue to climb the ladder and get better every year. At this point, the Playoffs are an expectation. It was a mixture of things that got Victor into playing football. He wanted to be better than his brother who had also played and he wanted to know what it felt like to be part of a team.
For Sophmore Lorenzo Alarid it was his dad who inspired him to play football. Lorenzo loved the game and everything about it. Through his father’s motivation, Lorenzo was able to stay focused on his dreams, not allowing anyone to get in the way of that. It is because of his fathers support that Lorenzo has been able to achieve success in everything he does.
The proudest moment for Sophmore Dustin Holland came when the Tigers made the Playoffs. His inspiration to play football was through a book that he had read called “Football Genius” by Tim Green. He had realized that the game of football was all about how much heart it takes to play and Dustin wanted to be a part of that.
By Megan Hecox