Sahr Mahoney is Mooseheart’s all-purpose player
BY RICK ARMSTRONG email@example.com October 24, 2012 6:44PM
Updated: November 26, 2012 7:04AM
He may have been slow to the party, but it didn’t take Sahr Mahoney long to immerse himself in it.
“My first time playing (football) was when I got here, my sophomore year,” said the Mooseheart senior.
He and his two younger sisters came to the school from Carlisle, Pa., at the suggestion of an aunt after they balked when their dad, who had custody but was struggling, wanted to move to Indiana.
“He couldn’t take care of us,” said Mahoney, who has blossomed at the Child City.
As they prepare for Saturday’s first-round IHSA Class 1A playoff game at home against Warren, it’s safe to say Mahoney does it all for coach Gary Urwiler’s Red Ramblers.
A wide receiver and running back on offense, Mahoney plays linebacker/rover back on defense.
He’s also the team’s kicker and punter. And, he returns kicks and punts.
“He’s one of those guys who does everything,” said Urwiler.
The numbers bear that out. The 5-foot-7, muscular 157-pounder has:
rushed 36 times for 527 yards (14.63-per-carry) and seven TDs;
caught 22 passes for 347 yards (15.77 avg.) and five TDs;
returned five kickoffs for 177 yards (35.4 avg.) and one score;
returned four punts for 115 yards and two scores;
accounted for 1,166 yards and a team-high 119 points (29 of 32 PATs).
Throw in 70 tackles (48 solo) to go with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries and it’s little wonder Urwiler says of the former soccer player:
“He’s just one of those guys that has all the intangibles. He’s always around the ball, be it kicking it, carrying it or catching it.”
Arriving here two years ago, Mahoney said soccer “WAS my sport, but they didn’t offer it here. I had just learned I was going to be moved up to the varsity and play forward.”
When he showed up for football tryouts in soccer gear, he said Urwiler asked him to kick. He doesn’t have any field goals this year but he made 5 of 6 last season, hitting a long of 47 yards.
Urwiler thinks with work and the right coaching, Mahoney could develop into a very good kicker at the next level.
In addition to becoming the first of his family to go to college, Mahoney, who says he was told his first name meant “first-born son” in the family’s native West African country of Sierra Leone, also hopes to play football.
“I’m not sure I’m big enough to play wide receiver,” he said.
Division III Carthage College is interested but Mahoney would like to return to Pennsylvania and try to walk on and make it as a kicker at Temple.
Before that, though, he and his Mooseheart teammates will try to go further than last year’s team that went 1-1 in the playoffs.
“I thought we’d make it to the playoffs but I didn’t think we’d do this well (8-1) because we’re not as big on the lines and we lost some talented receivers,” said Mahoney.
With Mahoney, standout RB Oumaru Abdulahi and WR J.J. Odunsi, the Ramblers have quick-strike capability.
“What we can’t make up in size, we make up with speed (in their spread attack),” said Mahoney, repeating the mantra he said Urwiler has given the team
Abdulahi, who has 1,020 yards rushing, started strong but was limited by injury for a few weeks at midseason.
It gave Urwiler and his staff the chance to do by necessity what they had planned anyway, and that was develop other offensive threats.
“At this time of year, we don’t want to be one-dimensional,” said Urwiler.
With multi-talented Mahoney at the ready, they’re certainly not.