Cover image from mnhshp.com
There was a lot of change in the Springfield football program last offseason. The program had won just three games the past two seasons, and along with the normal cycle of players graduating and young players joining the program, the Tigers made a change at head coach. With the change came a whole new offense and early season struggles. One player that provided some consistency, helped the team right the ship and turned the season around was junior Mason Rummel. The three-year starter was a stabilizing force that helped turn a 0-2 start into a state tournament appearance.
“We had an all-new coaching staff,” Rummel said. “As we went, we built off it and started to learn some things. We started 0-2 but we didn’t back down, we kept going forward. We started to work together as a team, and everything started to click as the season went on.”
They ran a no-huddle offense, and it took everyone time to get used to the pace and the mechanics of the no-huddle. Once the offense started to click, the Tigers were tough to stop.
“On offense, we were getting people the ball in spots they could make plays,” Rummel said. “We were balanced between the run and pass. On defense, our linemen started to prevent the offensive linemen from getting to the linebackers and leaving cutback lanes. Our linebackers made good reads and worked well together.”
Rummel was involved in both sides of the ball.
“Last year I think I only had about 200 yards rushing,” Rummel – who was in his second season starting at running back – said. “This year I think I had over 700 yards rushing. Defensively I felt I had a good season as well. I had over 100 tackles and thought I played really well with our team.”
A three-year starter on defense, Rummel played inside linebacker and was usually on the strong side of the Tigers’ four-linebacker defense.
“I am pretty good at blitzing,” said Rummel – who has started at linebacker since his freshman season. “I like contact, so I like getting to people as soon as I can hitting people.”
As a running back, he is a one cut and go running back.
“I don’t like running around people,” Rummel admitted. “I like to run through them. My strength is running up the middle and just getting the tough yards when we need them.”
This offseason – although a three-sport athlete – he will be working on things like pass blocking and working on his coverage skills.
Rummel wrestles in the winter and plays baseball in the spring.
“I am a two-year letter winner in wrestling,” the junior said. “I placed third in the section tournament (one place short of State); I am kind of big for my weight class, so I like going upper body and throwing people. Going into baseball, I am a catcher. I got an all-defense award last season. I am pretty good at throwing out baserunners.”
During the basketball and baseball seasons Rummel – who likes to hunt, fish and working with kids in the summer rec programs in the area – will be working with his dad on footwork and agility.
Rummel has been talking with the Southwest Minnesota State and will be going to camp there. He expects to go to additional camps but doesn’t have anything else set up. Northern State has also been in contact with Rummel.
In a season where there was so much new, Mason Rummel was someone familiar and someone for the Tigers to lean on. When he moves into his senior season, those traits will not only help the program make a run towards a second straight state tournament; they will also help him in the recruiting season and expanding his college football options.