Football season is back in full swing and players all around the state have
already been through two grueling weeks of practice. For the Malad Dragons, opening against 3A rival Marsh Valley will be no easy task. Marsh Valley features a vicious running attack, which means stopping it will be key. While the whole defense will have to step up to ensure
a Dragons victory, this week’s featured player will take a lot of punishment and that player is senior defensive tackle and offensive lineman, Jason Jensen.
Jason Jensen is a 6’ 1”, 250-pound senior. The players voted him as a captain for this year’s team. He is the anchor to both the offensive and defensive lines because of his size, strength and “football smarts”. Not only does he excel on the
football field, but he also excels in the classroom and in the weight room. Head Coach Coda Tchida said, “Jason is vital
to the success of this team. He works hard and pushes his teammates to be the best they can be both on the field and in the weight room. He also will help his teammates before, during and after practice with pass protections, run blocking
and stance work. He puts in a lot of time and effort with this team and the other players respect him for it.”
When asked what the key to stopping Marsh Valley’s vaunted running attack was, Jensen said, “It all begins with discipline from every single defensive player on our team. Marsh Valley likes to double and even triple team the opposing defense’s biggest player, trying to get him to tap out due to exhaustion or injuryand my job as nose tackle means I have to take on as many blocks as possible and stuff their running lanes. The other defensive players have to stay in their lanes and not get caught up in the blocking scheme that they try to sucker us into.”
While Jason knows exactly what needs to be done to win Friday’s game at
Marsh Valley, he explained why this season has the potential to be really special. “We have 10 seniors on this year’s team and every single one of us has the same goal: to win district and a state championship,” he said. “We have great leadership and the coaches make sure that we take things one week at a time. This week we have to just focus on the small picture (Marsh Valley) rather than the big picture,” he continued.
Jensen has one of the toughest roles on the field, playing both offensive and defensive line, or in “the trenches” as he
called it. He went on to say, “Playing on both the offensive and defensive line is tough because that is where the big guys go head to head and battle.” However, he is not one to shy away from the contact at either spot.
While Jensen excels on the field, football is not his only sport. He also is a key contributor on the basketball court for
the Dragons playing in the post. However, football is the only thing on his mind right now. “I just want to get out there and hit somebody and help this team beat Marsh Valley Friday night,” he said. All Malad fans are hoping for the same result; a Dragons’ victory Friday night in Marsh Valley.