ON SPORTS: Blaschke making the most of time at Trinity
Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
Mason Blaschke is not the only quarterback who studies the night before a game.
But more often than not Blaschke has his nose buried a textbook as well as a playbook.
"The coaches encourage you to take your books on the road," Blaschke said. "One time I was studying for a test on the Friday before a game."
Blaschke, 20, knew he would spend as much or more time on academics as athletics when he made the decision to attend Trinity University after his senior year at Cuero.
The NCAA Division III school in San Antonio does not give athletic scholarships and requires its students to live on campus for six semesters.
The football team does not practice on Monday and works out in pads three days a week.
Trinity plays its home games on campus and rarely draws more than 400 to 500 fans, a crowd much smaller than he played before in Cuero.
"It's definitely something you have to adjust to," Blaschke said. "They really stress your schoolwork and grades, but they give you a lot of help."
Blaschke has excelled on the field and in the classroom during his sophomore season.
He has maintained a 3.0 grade-point-average while twice earning Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the week honors.
Blaschke has rushed for a team-leading 603 yards and 10 touchdowns and passed for 868 yards and seven touchdowns.
"I'm a lot more confident than last year," Blaschke said. "I was at defensive back for the first four days of practice last year so I missed the basics of the offense. I understand the concepts of the offense a whole lot better."
Blaschke played quarterback his senior season at Cuero and led the Gobblers to the 2010 Class 3A, Division I area playoffs.
He originally planned to play defensive back at Trinity before changing his mind in the first week of practice.
"I was a defensive back for maybe 3-4 days," he said. "I moved over a became the second-string quarterback. I just felt more comfortable at quarterback and wanted to do it again."
Blaschke saw limited action last season getting eight carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and completing 9 of his 12 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
He was used mostly as a running quarterback earlier this season and the team installed a Wildcat package for Blaschke, which it calls the Gobbler package for obvious reasons.
Blaschke's playing time and production increased after strarter Nyk McKissic suffered a concussion.
Blaschke's progress has come as no surprise to Jerheme Urban.
Urban, a Stroman graduate, played wide receiver at Trinity before going on to the NFL and is currently coaching the team's defensive backs.
"He's one of those super competitive athletes, but you look at him and he's like the calm before the storm," Urban said. "He has a great impact on the game. He's the type of athlete where you have to have two guys account for him. He opens up lanes for the running game and he can also throw the ball. He's extremely fast and very elusive."
Blaschke was at his best in last week's 35-24 win over Millsaps, which gave the Tigers their second consecutive league title.
Blaschke completed 14 of 19 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 23 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
Blaschke became the first Trinity player since Shiner graduate Chris Baer in 2009 to run for more than 200 yards in a game and set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
"I thought Mason played an exceptional game both from his decision making to his ability to make plays with his athleticism," said Trinity head coach Steve Mohr. "It appears the Tigers have their own version of 'Johnny Football.'"
Blaschke had another outstanding performance in Saturday's 48-7 road win over Sewanee.
Blaschke passed for 163 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
Blaschke is looking forward to his next two years at Trinity and for what's in store after he graduates.
"It shows your love of the game and you're thinking about the future," Blaschke said. "Getting a Trinity degree gives you a lot of connections when you get out of school."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.