WAYNE, W.Va. - Wayne High School football Coach Tom Harmon said there really isn't a spot he could put Mason Hodge on a field and he wouldn't be effective.
Be it wingback, fullback, tailback, linebacker, Harmon figures his junior star can get the job done.
Hodge doesn't care where he plays, either, as long as he has the chance to drop a shoulder and lay a lick on someone.
"It's a part of the game ever since I started at 6 years old," the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Hodge said. "It's just something I love to do. It never gets old."
Winning hasn't gotten old for the Pioneers, owners of the last two Class AA state championships and a team that has won 23 consecutive games dating to Oct. 7, 2011. Hodge has been a major factor in that both on offense and defense. Offensively, he rushed for 732 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 32 carries in Wayne's 14-0 2012 season. That's a jaw-dropping 22.8 yards per carry.
On defense, he played middle linebacker in a Pioneers starting lineup that allowed just two touchdowns and helped pitch consecutive shutouts of Nicholas County, Robert C. Byrd and Keyser high schools in the Class AA playoffs. He was a second-team All-State linebacker as a freshman, a first-teamer as a sophomore and a prime candidate for this year's Huff Award, given annually to the state's top defender.
"The big thing about Mason is his flexibility," Harmon said. "You could really put him at any position on the football field and not only can he physically do it, he can mentally do it. He understands the game and what needs to be done.
"This will be his third year playing football here and his third position offensively," he added. "Just the fact that he's able to do a lot of different things gives you a lot of options as a coach and we always want options playing an opponent."