Everett Area High School senior Isiah Gibbons possesses the mental makeup to play two of the more physical positions on the football field - fullback and linebacker.
"I wouldn't say I'm particularly fast, but I have some speed,'' said the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Gibbons, who will be a two-year starter at both positions. "I don't run away from people. I run toward them. I'm not afraid of contact.''
Everett coach Tom Waltman spins the same theory about Gibbons - who is also a member of Everett's wrestling team - a little bit differently.
"He's pretty aggressive on the wrestling mat, and that carries over to the football field,'' Waltman said of Gibbons. "He's kind of a quiet physical on the football field, but he has a little nasty streak in him, too, and he's very competitive.''
Gibbons is also one of the seniors on this year's team who is trying to establish a rapport with the underclassmen on the squad.
"Teamwork is the key,'' Gibbons said. "Last year, the senior players stayed to themselves and they weren't very team-oriented. This year, even in the [football] camps, everybody is working together. The seniors are talking with and associating with the juniors and sophomores as well as with the other seniors.''
Waltman agreed that there were some cliques on last year's Everett squad, which won only two of nine games. That cliquish mentality has been absent on this year's team.
"Last year's seniors were a good bunch of fellows, but we just never gelled together as a team,'' Waltman said. "This year's team is a pretty tight-knit group, and I'm kind of excited about the way things are going for us.''
With veterans like Gibbons leading the way, Waltman has reason to be.
"We're expecting good leadership from him,'' Waltman said. "He's been an integral leader in our summer weight-training sessions. We're expecting big things from him as a senior this year.''