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M-Block prepared for Regional Final against PNG
Fort Bend Marshall was hanging around the Crosby High School parking lot, preparing to load the bus to return to the southwest side of town after a 27-21 (OT) loss at the hands of the Cougars earlier this season.
Coach James Williams looked stunned and disappointed.
“You never want to lose a game to learn a lesson, but you always have to learn lessons from things that don’t go your way,” Williams said. “It served this team well, got us refocused and let our guys know that we aren’t going to beat teams without the proper preparation.”
Since then, the Buffs have run off 11-straight wins, destroying teams by a margin of 513 to 67.
The offense got its legs under first-year QB Jordon Davis, who has thrown for over 2,300 yards and 27 scores. He has rushed for over 800 yards as well.
“That’s a story right there,” Williams said. “Ja’Koby Banks (UH-commit) had a phenomenal year at QB last year, scoring 39 touchdowns. He was very unselfish to back up and let Jordon run the offense this year, which freed him up to do more things for our football team from playing RB, WR and returning kicks. Once we found our identity with Jordon, we really started to click.”
The defense has flexed as well, giving up less than 10 points per game.
“M-Block football is about being physical and that is what we do,” Williams said. “It’s still a line of scrimmage game and it all starts up front with us with Zachary Chapman (TCU-commit), Trent Thomas and Logan Granville. That allows Jordan Sample (Arkansas State-commit) to flow to the ball and our secondary to create turnovers.”
With the offense finding their footing and the defense punishing opponents, the Buffs find themselves in the Regional Finals against Port Neches-Groves at Galena Park ISD Stadium on Friday night. FB Marshall beat the Indians 35-14 in district play earlier in the season.
“We are both very different teams now,” Williams said. “They do a tremendous job coaching and we are going to need to play disciplined football to win. I’m excited about where we are, and these guys deserve the success they get. They have put in so much hard work. That’s our culture.”
Texas A&M star Devon Achane stopped by practice this week to check out the Buffs as they entered the Regional Finals.
"It was great to talk to him and hang out," Williams said. "I'm just so proud of that young man and to see how he's developed. It's amazing what he's been able to do against SEC competition."
MIASHO’NAE MASON WILL NEVER FORGET AUGUST 17, 2021. HER FIRST VARSITY VOLLEYBALL GAME. AS A SOPHOMORE.
“I was very nervous, and even started questioning if I was good enough to play,” the Fort Bend Marshall junior outside hitter said. “I started panicking and saying I couldn’t do it and things like that. I was scared.”
So, Mason started thinking of her mother, Jasmine Atkinson. The reason she even started playing the game to begin with.
Her push and pull. Her inspiration.
“I look up to my mother, because no matter how tough or how many obstacles she has to go through to reach her goal, she never gives up,” Mason said. “The way I overcame the challenge was by telling myself that I can do it and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Not every game will be a good game. I know I’m capable of playing to my full potential on the court.”
Mason ended up having an impressive season for the Buffaloes, emerging as a key component of their attack.
“I felt I did pretty decent for my first time on varsity,” said Mason, who says a silent prayer to herself before every game. “The way I improved by taking practice seriously and speaking up when I didn’t get certain things. The biggest thing I learned was that in order to win as a team, you have to play as a team.”
Mason is excited for this season, where she will play all around—outside hitter, right side hitter, middle blocker.
“Making the playoffs would make this a successful year,” Mason said. “As a team, I would like to accomplish getting along and building an unbreakable team bond. Personally, I would love to be great in every position.”
Mason spoke more with VYPE.
VYPE: At what age did you start playing volleyball, and why did you fall in love with the game?
MASON: I started playing at the age of 13, and what made me fall in love with volleyball was the bonding moments, and everyone on the court working as a team, playing together to win.
VYPE: How do you think you’ll be a better player this season?
MASON: I think I would be a better player by already having that varsity level experience and knowing what I mainly need to perfect to get a better hang of it.
VYPE: What are some of the things you’ve been working on in the summer and offseason to get better?
MASON: A few things I have been working on is my approach, (and) my core to build more upper body strength. I’ve also been running miles every morning to build my stamina.
VYPE: Describe your game and your approach to playing volleyball. What is your mindset like on the court?
MASON: My approach is to better myself in every game I play. My mindset on the court is to keep a positive attitude, stay motivated and give the game my all.
VYPE: What is something that you think might be misunderstood about you?
MASON: I’ve been told I appear unapproachable, due to my loud, aggressive demeanor. But I’m really the biggest teddy bear and sweetest person you’ll meet.