'The brains of this operation'

The two-year starter is able to play every position on the offensive line

Q&A Adam Mease, Howard, football

November 13, 2008|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

Howard senior guard Adam Mease didn't start playing football until seventh grade, but his coach, Bruce Strunk, said the 17-year-old two-year starter is now the "brains of this operation."

Mease, 6 feet 1 and 235 pounds, is capable of playing every position on the Howard offensive line.

"He's Mr. Reliable," said Strunk. "He does a great job as pulling guard for a big guy. He's a very heads-up player, who helps his teammates with adjustments. And he's dependable. If ever we need him to do something, he does it."

Meade carries a 3.6 grade point average in his weighted honors classes.

Have you always wanted to play football?

No. To tell you the truth, I was afraid of the contact. But it was one of those things that once you get out there and get through the first hit, it's not as bad as you might have thought.

Is there something in particular you like doing on the football field?

I like pulling down the line. You get out there, you're running full speed. A lot of times the opposing team doesn't see you coming. By them not seeing me coming down the line, it opens a bigger hole for the running back. I did it for the first time last summer. It was a little shock at first. But it's a lot of fun. You really feel like you're part of the action.

Has there been a defining moment for you, when you realized, "Gosh, this is fun?"

It was my second season [with the Elkridge Hurricanes recreational team] after we'd lost our last game, a semifinal game in the playoffs in eighth grade. I was sitting there thinking, "Wow, it's over." And I found I was pretty upset about that. That's when I realized I was a football player.

Did you have other interests before you started playing football?

I was a big baseball player, and I was into my school work and getting good grades. My dad played baseball, and I've played since I was 5. I've always been a pretty good baseball player. And football, back then, really wasn't me - hitting people. Baseball wasn't really a contact sport. It was more a thinking game. And I still like baseball. I'm into my fourth year playing here at Howard. I play first and third. I didn't play much last year, but I bat around .330.

You want to be an engineer? What kind of engineer?

There's a science program here at Howard called "Project Lead the Way." I've been part of it since my freshman year. I've always liked designing things and looking at things and trying to figure out how to make something better, how to make things more efficient. For example, in my engineering class this year we are creating an automatic leaf-collecting device. Basically, you set it down and it blows leaves all into a big pile. It does it by itself, while you go into the house and do whatever else you want to do and you come out and it's done. All you have to do is put them in bags. It saves time and a lot of effort, especially if you have a pretty big yard.

Do you know where you want to go to school next year?

I'm looking at a bunch of places right now - at bigger schools, like Maryland and Virginia Tech and Delaware. I wouldn't be able to play football at those places, but there are the smaller schools. I've gotten letters from Rensselaer in New York and Carnegie Mellon, and I'm trying to decide right now if I want to go to a bigger university or go play football at a smaller one. I've wanted to go to Maryland since I was 6 years old, when I started watching their basketball and football games. I'd be happy just screaming for the Terps. But I'm also not sure if I want to give up football just yet.

What do you see yourself doing as an engineer?

There are so many interesting things and places to go as an engineer. Building buildings or bridges, or who knows? I don't know exactly what I'll be doing, but I know I'll like whatever it is.

Has there been anything special about this football season?

It's senior year. We've been together four years. We've been part of a rebuilding program here at Howard. My freshman year, we were 2-8. Last year, we were 7-3 and we went to the playoffs, but it struck us as a nice surprise. I think this was the first year we've had expectation of going to the playoffs. For that reason it has been special. We don't want to see it end.

You go into the first round of the playoffs Friday against Wilde Lake. How do you see your team doing?

I think we have a very good chance of winning our region. We had a tough game with Wilde Lake this year [Howard lost 27-13]. Hopefully, it will be another good game, and it will fall our way this time.

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