Going into his junior year, Denton Guyer defensive lineman Grant Mahon had big expectations.
Coming off a spring in which he received a Division I offer from the school of his dreams in Oklahoma State, Mahon and his teammates’ eyes were set on a deep run toward a state championship game.
All of that changed, however, when devastating news of a pars fracture came just days before the opening game of the 2018 season.
The doctor’s season-ending diagnosis led to some of the most mentally and physically exhausting days he ever experienced.
When Mahon addressed members of the local media and his team late on that August day, he went on record as saying, “With the group of guys we have and the bonds we’ve built, we will be playing together next December.”
He was correct.
The Wildcats play Austin Westlake on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the Class 6A, Division II state championship.
“There’s no doubt the goodness of God through all of this,” Mahon said. “The recovery… fighting the adversity, both the physical and the mental aspects of walking through this.”
Now, fully recovered and officially committed to Oklahoma State, one goal remains in sight, and that’s winning a state title.
At the beginning of the season, Mahon battled through a few injuries but said, “At the start of district play, I really started getting healthy. Every week I’ve been getting better, and as a team, we’ve been getting better.”
Led by Mahon, Guyer’s defense is stout, and in the playoffs, teams have double and triple teamed him, allowing for outside rushers to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
“We are fighting not only for ourselves but for each other,” Mahon said. “This truly is a testament to the leadership that we have.”
And he is confident the Wildcats are ready for the challenge the Chaparrals will present.
“Westlake has a great offense for sure,” Mahon said. “There’s no denying it, but we have the talent to give their quarterback fits all night.
“They’re going to see the best Guyer defense anyone has seen all year.”