Junior Quarterback Jason Sweet

Do you know the feeling of your heart as you dribble a basketball down the court with ten seconds left? Or the feeling of being in the fifth set of a volleyball game with the final game point in your hands? From school rivalries to state championships, student athletes find themselves under extreme pressure with a lot on the line. Mindset and mentality can play a big role in how an athlete performs in close-game situations.

By Jonathan Mapilisan | Artist

Hard work, determination and plenty of practice have gotten junior Jason Sweet to where he is today, with the responsibility of being one of the most vital varsity members of the Marshfield football team: the quarterback. With guidance from his coaches and the support of his teammates, Sweet does his best to lead the Pirates to victory.

Sweet has been playing football his entire life, but he began competing in organized football during the fifth grade. Being quarterback has not always been his dream position. Sweet wanted to play fullback during his early school years, stating he enjoyed being able to hit opposing teams. However, although he may enjoy hitting people on the field, Sweet is well known for being a kind and dependable person.

“Jason’s a really good teammate, and he really works hard for the team,” senior offensive-linebacker Jimmy Barton said. “If I ask him for anything, he’s going to help me.”

Sweet works hard off the field as well. Balancing academics and athletics can be difficult for the straight-A student, but it is far from impossible. Sweet has been credited by Head Coach Justin Ainsworth as being one of the best students on the team.

“There are certain things you’re always looking for in a quarterback. First and foremost, he’s got to be reliable,” Ainsworth said. “He needs to be able to throw the football, stay consistent and be steady. You like him to be a kid that stays cool under pressure and doesn’t get rattled easily. Jason fits all those adjectives. That’s the type of guy he is.”

Alongside his position as a quarterback, Sweet is one of six football team captains as well as being one of the only two junior captains. These members are chosen for their experience and commitment to not only the game, but also to their fellow teammate. Sweet has been recognized by his peers as a very dedicated and competitive individual.

“In a game or even in practice, Jason always gives one-hundred percent,” Barton said.

According to Ainsworth, this team has been considerably calmer than the previous two. Ainsworth said that the team does not seem to panic when under pressure and does very well at responding to their orders and environment.

Ainsworth said the entire offensive line has been specifically modified to fit their strengths, especially Sweet’s. Quick-passing has become a major part of their games compared to past years. Junior right-offensive guard Hayden Zimmerman explained how nothing could be accomplished without proper teamwork.

“He [Jason] does a good job at interacting with us all and he’s a good athlete, but none of that would matter without the offensive team,” Zimmerman said. “A goal every game is to protect the quarterback. We are the motor of the vehicle that drives this team.”

By Ainsworth and his teammates, Sweet is thought of as a very well-rounded quarterback. Ainsworth described him as competitive, reliable, and dedicated as well as having the characteristics needed for his position. Sweet plans to build upon these traits and do his best to support the Marshfield Pirates.

“It feels great and I’m happy to have this position as quarterback,” Sweet said. “It’s definitely a big responsibility, but I’m up for the challenge.”