By Chris Cox
As an offensive lineman and defensive lineman in eight-man football, Foyil junior Mason Valliere knows he has to develop a slightly different skill set than his 11-man counterparts.
“It can be harder sometimes,” he admits. “You have to be faster and cover more ground.”
Valliere, who is coming off a sophomore season that saw him miss time due to injury, has worked on his athleticism. He is a multi-sport athlete and really feels his experience throwing shot put has helped him be a better offensive and defensive lineman.
“It’s really helped me with my explosiveness and body control,” he says. “If you’re on the offensive line and you trip and fall down because you don’t know the placement of your feet, that’s not good. The explosiveness in getting off the line faster really helps on defense.”
His coach, Lance Williams, sees the work that Valliere has put and feels like he’s only going to continue getting better.
“Mason is an explosive athlete,” Williams says. “He can disrupt from the DL & has speed to pressure the QB. He will only get better with maturity & strength.”
As a lineman on both sides of the ball, Valliere knows his job, ultimately revolves around the quarterback.
“As an offensive lineman, I want to keep sacks to a minimum,” Valliere says. “As a defensive lineman, I want to get a lot of sacks and TFLs.”
Valliere has been playing football since he was in elementary school and believes that the relationships you can build in football are second to none.
“I started playing in third grade,” he says. “I just love spending time with my teammates and having fun. I love the practices together, the games. It’s all good.”
Outside of football, you can find Valliere throwing the shot put, where he was a 2A runner-up last year. He is also a center on the Foyil basketball team and a first baseman and pitcher for the Panther baseball team.