TROY BROTHERS SET TO PLAY DIVISION-I FOOTBALL THIS FALL
(2022-07-13)BY CHRIS MANNINGNorthern Tier Sports Report
For many houses with kids that are college age, summers are filled with part-time jobs, parties with long time friends, and enjoying the long, summer days. In the Imbt household, though, they can add preparing for Division-I football to the list.
Jack Imbt and Mason Imbt will both be playing D-I football this fall, with Jack heading back for his third year at Marist, while Mason starts his first year at St. Francis.
Mason is so excited, in fact, that he’s already gone down there to prepare.
“I have moved down to Saint Francis, and am participating in the summer program,” said Mason. “I have been on campus doing our team lift, and conditioning.”
Going to college is almost like starting all over again, but Mason is aware of this, especially since he’s joining a team that went 5-6 a year ago.
“My goals this year are to make the travel team, get better, and not only represent Troy, but the NTL as a whole,” he said.
His older brother Jack is in a different situation. He’s going into this third year at Marist, but it doesn’t feel that way since Covid-19 wiped out his freshman year in 2020.
“Freshman year was very limited; really got almost no time to really do many football activities due to Covid,” explained Jack. “This made last year my first real year of football with the team. This will only be second fall camp, and I think, as with anything, there is still nerves and excitement. I’m excited to strap it up with my teammates and best friends for what should be a great season for us.”
Marist went 5-5 a year ago, and, after seeing their first game cancelled, they dropped their next two. But a 27-24 overtime victory over Valpariso sparked a 5-3 finish to the season.
“Last year was a huge learning experience for me,” said Jack. “(I) had to take time, and evaluate my growth as a player in a new system. I feel like I’m in a good place going into this next season, carrying over from some spring growth. My overall growth for this upcoming season is to contribute to our success as a defense in any way that I can, and to be a productive member of the team.”
Despite not getting on the field for the Red Foxes, Jack felt he still improved.
“Last year I grew a lot in the weight room, and was able to produce some good things off the field,” he said. “What changes going into this next year is there is a larger amount of responsibility with on field things that I will be expected to do and know. Younger guys will start looking to older guys for help with the defense, and with off the field things. This will start to become more of a responsibility I will have to start to fill as time moves on.”
It’ll be hard to miss Imbt when he takes for the field for MarisT, as The 6-foot, 285-pound defensive lineman sports number 99. And one person who’ll be glad to see his brother get on the field is Mason.
“It’s an honor to be able to learn from someone who is as good as he is,” MASON said. “We definitely can get at each other at times, but mostly we encourage each other to be the best.”
The feeling is mutual.
“Obviously, it’s really awesome to see my brother have the opportunity to progress his football career the same way I did,” said Jack. “I was very excited to see where he would end up going, and was hoping there was a chance we might end up playing together. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but, as I previously said, I am very excited to see how his first year with his team team is going to go.”
The fact that they play on opposite sides of the trenches - Jack is a defensive tackle, while Mason plays on the offensive line - comes in handy for preparing for the next level.
“It has helped us a little bit,” said Jack. “I have been able to give him some tips on how defensive linemen are going to react at the next level. Over the winter we were able to work some 1-v-1 situations that were beneficial for both of us. I would like to think some of the things I know from my experiences on defense will help Mason at the next level.”
As big as Jack is, Mason, at 6-feet, 3-inches, and over 300-pounds, is bigger. However, Jack will always be the ‘big’ brother in the relationship.
“It helps more than you think,” Mason said. “He teaches m e defensive moves, and how to counter them, and I can show him sets, and other formations.”
The two believe that the cumulative work they’ve put in since they started playing football as boys has done as much as anything to prepare them for a college career on the gridiron.
“I would like to say that I helped prepare him much in the years we were playing together,” said Jack. “Not only with the on the field things, but with the off the field things, such as being a leader, encouraging teammates, and working hard to achieve your goals. But at the end of the day, Mason is a great football player, and probably didn’t need me to get to the next level, but I hope I did show him to be a great teammate and leader.”
Mason has learned from Jack just how tough a road awaits him.
“It’s harder than people think,” said Mason. “It’s not for everyone.”
Now, the two will be playing in different conferences - Marist is in the Pioneer League, while St. Francis plays in the Northeast Conference - but in the Division-I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) the two could meet in the playoffs - even the title game.
“All the time we have conservations at dinner,” explained Mason. “I think it would be an experience that maybe ends in a fight.”
There would definitely be no quarter given on the field of play - and that’s just how they would want it.
“There are many jokes about one day getting to strap it up against each other,” said Jack. “I know we both would definitely love that moment, and would consider it a highlight of our careers. Although I know that with both of our competitive natures there would be no remorse for each on the football field, when the final whistle blew, we would go back to being brothers.”
PHOTOS BY NICOLE IMBT
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