BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — We are less than two months away from the first Friday night of the 2020 high school football season. As we get ready for another outstanding year of football in WNY, we’re going to spotlight some of the players that stood out on the field in 2019 and are looking to shine in 2020.
Jason Mansell was born to be a Lancaster Legend.
“Ever since I’ve grown up, I’ve been around Lancaster football. Even when I was young, I was on the field throwing the ball with my brother because my dad is the defensive coordinator, so I’ve really grown up around it,” Lancaster senior quarterback Jason Mansell said. “Coming up and seeing my brother excel, I learned from him. The last two years have been great, but we have one year left, so we have to make the most of it. Time really has been flying, and we’ve got to enjoy the last bit of it.”
The quarterback of the Legends is entering his senior season poised to have another outstanding year on the field. In his junior season, Jason threw for 1,912 yards and 24 touchdowns, as well as ran for 237 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
“I think the first thing that stands out to me is his competitiveness,” Lancaster head coach Eric Rupp said about Jason. “He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever met, and certainly coached. It doesn’t matter if it’s practice, a drill, or a game, he wants to win.
“He makes everyone around him better.”
The dual threat QB led Lancaster to their fourth straight Section VI title, and as he heads into his third season as a starter, he’s on pace to become Lancaster’s all-time leading passer.
“I’ve just got to keep being a leader, keep being vocal. If I’m doing the right thing, people are going to follow,” Mansell said. “As a team, we’ve got to get that five-peat. That’s the biggest thing. We need to keep putting in work in the off-season, because this is obviously a different off-season since we’re not together. We need to still stay in contact with each other and keep working, because once that first whistle blows on September 4th, we have to be ready.”
“There’s not many better leaders than Jason. He’s got a 4.0 GPA, he’s a three sport athlete, he’s won back-to-back Sectional titles in football and basketball this year. Certainly, he’s the model student athlete,” Rupp said.
Throughout his high school career, Jason has always mentioned how much it means to him to be a Lancaster Legend. As he prepares to take the field for his final season in the red and black, he’s thankful for the community and the support he’s received, both on and off the field.
“This is something special. The culture we’ve built, Coach Rupp really has built, it’s going back all the way to Coach Jankiewicz, it’s really special,” Mansell said. “I would never want to play anywhere else other than Lancaster. It’s almost indescribable.”
“The brotherhood you have, the bonds you have with everyone, and we build that. We do it as a team. It’s not just one person going out there and playing, it’s all 55 people. Even if you’re not on the field, it’s everybody, even the fans. Everybody supporting us, it’s one big community. That’s why I think we’ve succeeded the last few years.”