Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2001

Football leader doesn’t rest on or off the field

August 9, 2001

Mill Valley senior Dustin Stinnett lives by the motto that hard work is contagious. Fortunately for Stinnett's Jaguar teammates and coaches, he also plays by the same motto.

Stinnett, a three-year high school starter on the offensive and defensive lines, is one of Mill Valley's team leaders this season. With the season now less than a month away, Stinnett's role has been thrown into high gear.

This summer, Stinnett and several other MVHS football players religiously visited the weight room in hopes of getting bigger, stronger and better. So far, Stinnett said he thinks it's working.

"Lifting in the summer kind of gets you a head start on the upcoming season," Stinnett said. "And I'll do anything that gets me ready for the season."

MVHS coach George Radell said Stinnett is definitely one of the team's leaders and that having him and the other seniors set solid examples during the off-season will only help during the real season.

"He's a real good leader," Radell said. "He could almost be classified as a three-year starter because he started as a junior for us last year, and at De Soto he started a little as a sophomore, too."

Like many of his teammates, Stinnett plays on both sides of the ball. Unlike many players, however, Stinnett's third job puts him on the field for almost every play. Stinnett is also the Jaguars' long snapper, which means he is on the line for field goals and punts as well as regular offensive and defensive plays. That extra work has Radell concerned.

"We'll have to be creative with him as far as how we use him," Radell said. "He plays both ways and he's our long snapper. Where's he rest?"

Ask Stinnett and he'll likely tell you nowhere. Stinnett said whether he's anchoring the offensive line from his center position or creating havoc from his defensive tackle position, he's definitely going full speed. Defense, however, gives him a little more of a chance to turn it up a notch.

"Offense is more controlled than defense," Stinnett said. "On defense you just go crazy."

While Stinnett might be crazy on the field, he's just the opposite off the field. In the weight room he is a leader. He teaches the younger players the correct way to do things and he challenges himself to do those things better. Why? Because he knows that winning a game is about a lot more than playing well on the field.

"Getting in the weight room gets you in better shape, obviously," Stinnett said. "But it also gets you mentally strong and it helps prevent you from getting injured."

Radell said statements like those show just how smart Stinnett is.

"He's a good example of it, but our entire offensive-line those five guys are all so smart," Radell said. "Not just good grades smart, they're just intelligent guys."

Apparently, like Stinnett's hard work, intelligence is contagious too.

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