April 22, 2019

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Diamonds in the Rough: Freddie Mango

Freddie Mango is a senior running back at Delta Charter who had 28 yards on 5 attempts in the bowl game. In my interview with him, I noticed the way he was answering my questions as if he is for the team. What I mean by that is he’s a genuine team player. “Gettin’ it out the mud” is the motto Freddie uses. To Mango, this means doing whatever you can to help others down the road. He enjoyed being part of the rebuilding process because he wants to leave it better than he found it. To coaches, that is a desirable trait for a player to possess. During the interview, Freddie was very respectful and he credits that to football. “Football has taught me life lessons, being there for people, helping them out however I can. It also taught me to be respectful to not only my coaches but to everyone”. Through the interview, it was easy to see how football had been a positive influence on this young man.

Freddie, as most high school seniors, hopes to play at the next level. When asked what he could bring to a college program, his first answer was “good character” and to me that was impressive. Of course, he can bring his physical abilities but instead of going that route he decided to show what kind of person Freddie is when he’s not in pads. That spoke volumes. He followed up his answer by saying that he’s an all-around athlete. His response to the next question was rather surprising. I asked Freddie to recall a situation where he had to make a quick decision. Freddie answered with, “During a game, I hurt my hamstring and I really wanted to go back in and play to help my team, but I didn’t want to further injury myself and miss more games in the process”. The reason his answer surprised me was because he knows his body. Freddie knows how much his body can endure before a long-term problem develops. This indicates that Freddie is not only good at what he does, he is also smart about what he does. Taking yourself out of a game, no matter what the score, is always tough. As players, we feel like we can put our bodies through anything until we wake up the next morning. 

Having already talked about his greatest strength, I decided to ask him his greatest weakness and he told me it’s his frustration. Needing more clarification, he said, “Sometimes when I can’t get into my rhythm, I want to blame other people, but I know I can’t because it’s my job to find my rhythm.” With many athletes this is a rather common weakness, but it is impressive that Freddie is able to recognize it and that he is willing to work on it. Freddie is someone who not only impresses with his football abilities but with his actions as well