Next Year Could Be Bulldogs' Comeback Season
An Interview with Jonathan Mason
By Jovan Bland
The Bulldogs of Bowie State suffered a tough loss to the hands of Fayetteville State in the CIAA Conference Championship. Although our beloved dogs fought until the final whistle, it was not enough to bring a championship title home to Bowie State University. As in all sports, it is hard not to point blame towards any specific variable when a loss has been suffered. The best thing a team can do is pack up and head home to gather enough energy to prepare for next season - a championship may be achieved the next time around.
Bowie State Offensive Lineman, Jonathan Mason, believes in such possibility. "It's always hard to recover after a big loss," said Mason. "We just have to remember this feeling and do our best to get back." Mason spoke with The Spectrum about the championship game, the off-season, and what it takes to get the hardware.
Spectrum: First off, although the loss in the championship game was tough, the entire Bulldog team did an excellent job this season.
Mason: Thank you. It's really appreciated.
Spectrum: Do you feel like the team left everything on the field? Or was there anything else that could have been done to change the outcome of Saturday's game?
Mason: I do feel like the team as a whole left it on the field. Nobody holds back in a championship game. One major thing that could have changed the outcome of the game is if we aired the ball out some more.
Spectrum: It has been some time since Bowie State took the title. What do you think is the missing piece to the championship efforts?
Mason: Awww man. The missing piece for bringing home the hardware would be us as a team doing the right stuff on and off the field. As Wilson would say, "The football gods are always watching." If we do everything right the football gods will handle everything for us.
Spectrum: So now that the season is over, what's next?
Mason: What's next? I think we all know the season depends on the off season and we worked hard last year so we are expecting the workout of a lifetime especially with us returning the whole team (25 seniors).
Spectrum: Do you think the team will miss a step since you will lose some players to graduation?
Mason: No, I don't think the team will lose a step at all. I have confidence that Coach Wilson and his coaching staff are the top recruiters in the nation. We are losing a great lineman in James Hardaway - he is a senior so it's gonna be hard to fill those shoes.
Spectrum: What about new recruits for next year? What kind of message will you and the other veterans want to send to them in reference to working hard?
Mason: We have to instill in them the first day that all we do is work hard together - there are no individuals on this team... and let's get the ring this year "UNITED WE STAND"
Spectrum: We all know about some of the offensive weapons that Bowie State has. What about the guys in the trenches? Will the line be able to produce yardage like this season?
Mason: I'll start by saying the o-line is only losing one player to graduation [Hardaway] but the rest of us are coming back. We are the most athletic line in the CIAA, everybody can pass and run block. We are also one of the few lines where all positions can pull around the edge and make that big hole for one of the many talented backs to run through.
Spectrum: It's a long road to next August. What are you going to do to make sure you are ready for another championship journey?
Mason: Yeah man, it is a long road to August all of our hard work has to be put in just to make it to August. I can guarantee that out of me, Speller, Juan, Reggie, Glen White, Matt O and other o-lineman, one of us if not most of us will make first team all conference team. It hurt last year having an all conference running back and no all-conference lineman. So that's our motivation for next year and off-season workouts.
Spectrum: Any last words to the Bowie State community [fans, students, etc.]?
Mason: Ya'll saw how exciting last season was... we only can get better so please come out and support us at the spring ball game and all of next season. We will bring the trophy home next year. Keep Drinkin' That Black N' Gold Kool-Aid [laughs].