The big game

Bryce Baker, Staff Writer

Rochester Mayo High School’s big cross-town rivalry football game against John Marshall High School is on October 4th, which also happens to be the Spartans 2019 Homecoming game. The stands are expected to be full of green and gold when the kickoff takes place at 7:00 pm. The Spartans with a record of 3-2 hopefully will be 4-2 after taking on the Rockets.

The Spartans are looking pretty strong coming into their Homecoming game. The senior team captain Cade Sheehan is a great leader out on the turf. He has been putting up numbers as the team’s quarterback. Sheehan has 837 total passing yards with 10 TD’s and 80 rushing yards with 1 TD. “I think we’ve been opening up a lot of people’s eyes,” Sheehan said. The Spartans have a strong running game as well with Senior Asa Cummings rushing for 293 yards, and running in four touchdowns. Another key leader is senior Luiz Gasca, Mayo’s second running back with 131 rushing yards and one touchdown. When the team faces difficult times, Gasca is always ready to step up and run down the field to give his team a better opportunity to get points on the board. 

The Spartans are full of young and fast talent this year. Sophomore Cayden Holcomb is the team’s leading receiver so far with 289 yards and two touchdowns. Mayo also has another offensive weapon on the team, someone who is making noise at the wide receiver position: Michael Mankaka. He had to step up after the top receiving points scorer, senior Ethan Loehrer was injured after the second play against Owatonna. Mankaka has earned 125 receiving yards and scored one touchdown since becoming a starter.

The Spartans are going to miss #11 on the turf, as Loehrer was Sheehan’s top target. Loehrer wasn’t just a wide receiver he was also a leader on the defensive side, playing cornerback, and on special teams, as the punter.   

The chemistry between the players is positive, and the morale is strong, hopeful. There is a belief in the team that all of the players share. “The season is going great. I feel like we are playing more as a team this year. Growing up, I’ve been on teams with selfish players but this team is different,” Asa Cummings said. 

In fact, the team is not composed of just stars; everyone contributes to their success. “Our offensive line is looking really solid” said Cummings. The offensive line is filled with first-year players, but they are “stepping up and doing really well,” Sheehan said. 

The Mayo Spartans won’t rest until the season is over. They have been working hard to improve and keep this winning record alive. “We gotta prepare mentally every week like we are playing Owatonna” said Cummings. “We are working on staying more positive with the younger players,” said Sheehan.  

Records and rivalry aside, it sure will be a lot of fun for both schools when they play each other this week October 4th.