GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Mason Gudger has been the face of Greeneville’s backfield and a leader for the Greene Devils the past couple of seasons, but this year could be his best.
In just three games this season, the senior has chalked up 372 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, while he’s averaging over eight yards a carry. Greeneville head coach Eddie Spradlen mentioned how many tools Gudger possesses.
“He can run, he’s got some speed, but he’s a psychical, hard-nosed kid and he’s going to play hard every down,” Spradlen said.
Gudger finished the regular season last year with 734 yards and 10 touchdowns, while averaging 7.6 yards per carry. This Greene Devil was named team captain the past two seasons, so his teammates and coaching staff had plenty of confidence in their running back this year.
“Obviously the expectations are big, but try not to think about it too much, just go out there and play football. At the end, it’s just football, the game I’ve played since I was little,” Gudger said.
The senior not only met those expectations, but blew them away in their showdown against two-time state champion Elizabethton. Gudger racked up 167 yards and five touchdowns on 21 carries in the 42-12 win.
“The run game was really working, we had a lot of runs. We passed it a little bit, but the run game is what was really keeping us going, we know it was going to be a battle in the trenches and our lineman came out and showed out,” Gudger said.
Spradlen knows that if Greeneville wants to reach it’s ultimate goal Gudger will be a key factor.
“He’s going to be big time in any win that we have, just with how he works and as a leader for this program. He’s a kid that shows up everyday,” Spradlen said. “When your hardest workers are your best players you’re going to be successful and that’s what he is.”
As for what that ultimate goal is, Gudger has one thing on his mind.
“We don’t get complacent, we come in work hard even if we get a big win like last week, we still have to come in this week, work hard do the same thing we did that week to win the next game,” Gudger said. “Try to take it week by week, game by game…but of course, the gold ball is always the goal.”