McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

October 8, 2013

Mason Bumphus stays focused

McALESTER — McAlester senior Mason Bumphus has always lived in McAlester. He started playing flag football in the fourth grade, and during the fall he’d spend every Friday night he could at Hook Eales Stadium watching the Buffaloes.

Chris Patterson, one of Bumphus’ cousins, played inside receiver for the Buffs and graduated a year before Bumphus got to McAlester High School. An inside receiver himself, Bumphus said he definitely took a move or two from his older cousin, who graduated in 2009.

“He was my idol,” Bumphus said of Patterson on Thursday. “That’s why I even wanted to play. You could say he was my inspiration to suit up.”

A product of McAlester’s public schools system, Bumphus played for the Jr. Buffs at Puterbaugh. His football career hit a major stumbling block at the end of his eight-grade football season, however, when he fractured four vertebrae while working out.

“I had to wear a back brace around for like six months,” Bumphus said.

“I almost didn’t come back and play football.”

Back injuries take a lot of time to rehab, and Bumphus’ cost him his entire freshman year. It’s a slow rehab process, too, with numerous “boring, little exercises,” as Bumphus called them, designed to increase strength and mobility a bit at a time.

“Freshman year, I had to film (games and practices), and that was probably the worst part, having to watch all my friends play and not being able to be out there with them,” Bumphus said.

Bumphus finished his rehab in time for sophomore year, when he made varsity. Always a two-way player but originally a safety, Bumphus moved to cornerback for his junior year.

“Safety is a lot more reads,” Bumphus said.

“You have a lot more responsibilities as a safety. Corner is more of ‘don’t let them get behind you.’”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.