It might have been a surprise to some, having a player known best as his team’s kicker place second overall in his weight class in the 2019 Nutmeg High School Football weightlifting competition this past March.
But that’s just what Plainville’s Mason Sarra did, totaling 1,005 pounds among the three events in the competition - including second in the squat at 515 pounds - to finish just 40 pounds shy of the lead in his 181- to 200-pound weight class.
His performance was not a fluke - rather it was a sign of a dedicated player getting ready to take on a big new role with his team.
While previously used almost exclusively on defense in his first three years with the team, excluding his kicking duties, Sarra will be a featured running back this year.
“Him and [new starting quarterback] Christian [Collin] in the backfield are going to offer, hopefully, some unique opportunities,” Plainville coach Tim Shea said.
Sarra’s experience at the Nutmeg event was a result of the work he has been doing all offseason to help get ready for his new role.
“He’s a bit of a gym rat, a weight room rat,” Shea said. “He’s in shape. He’s trimmed down, leaned down pretty well.”
For Sarra, it’s all about making the most of his opportunity to contribute even more to his team’s success during his senior season.
“When you’re on both sides, then you can add more to your team, and that’s all that I’m looking to do, is add another level to the offense,” he said.
Sarra has known since last season ended he would be a key offensive player this season, and that gave him the extra motivation to be ready for his chance.
“I’ve been super motivated in the gym,” he said. “I knew I would be a key part of the offense and defense now, so I knew I had to put myself in the weight room and get stronger for the team.”
He’ll still be out on the field kicking field goals and extra points as well.
“It’s a really important part that people miss out on,” Sarra said. “As I got older and more mature, I realized it’s a really important part of football, and I take a lot of pride in kicking.”
All the work Sarra has put in will really be worth it if the team is able to earn a state tournament berth in Class S.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I think we have a good shot to make it into December and the playoffs, and I’m really excited for this team and I think we’re going to do well.”
Paul Angilly can be reached at 860-973-1800, or firstname.lastname@example.org