Cody Ziegenfus knew that this season, he was going to be a leader on the Husson University football team, whether he was ready for it or not. So Ziegenfus made sure he was ready.
“I’m the oldest guy on the offensive line,” Ziegenfus, a graduate of Messalonskee High School said. “We have a lot of young guys.”
A 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior offensive tackle, Ziegenfus is the most experienced lineman on the Eagles roster. Just one of two returning starters to the Husson line (sophomore center Alex Martin-Wallace is the other), Ziegenfus takes his role as a mentor to his younger teammates seriously.
“We had a lot of guys coming in as freshmen who were in the same situation I was in when I was a freshman,” Ziegenfus said. “They’ve never played in this type of offense. They don’t understand the concepts. It’s a lot to teach them.”
When Ziegenfus joined the Eagles as a freshman in 2010, he’d never played in a spread offense, aside from his one game of experience in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl. At Messalonskee, Ziegenfus played in the double wing system, a tight formation built on running the ball.
“The spread is so much different. I had to learn a whole new concept,” Ziegenfus said. “Pass blocking, a lot of it is zone. We probably block half the time man and half the time zone. It’s taking your steps and go.”
With the left-handed Kash Keezer at quarterback for Husson, Ziegenfus moved from left to right tackle, to protect Keezer’s blind side.
“I put a lot of work in the weight room,” Ziegenfus said. “I’ve gotten smarter with the game.”
Husson heads into Saturday’s game against Gallaudet with a 1-3 record. On Sept. 15, the Eagles beat Anna Maria, 28-22, for their first win since Oct. 9, 2010, also over Anna Maria. The win snapped a 16-game losing streak. To Ziegenfus, it was nice to see all the hard work finally rewarded with a victory.
“The last time we got a win was my freshman year. It had been a long time, and it feels great,” Ziegenfus said.
Ziegenfus is in the third year of a six-year physical therapy program. When he graduates, Ziegenfus will have a doctorate degree.
“I want to do something with athletics,” he said.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242