Saugus running back Quinn Sheaffer is well on his way to being a thousand-yard rusher this season. He’s a workhorse for the Cents offense, running hard on every carry and extending plays for as long as he can – even if that means dragging a few defenders with him.
“People get fired up watching him play because he’s the type of player that’s not going to go down on initial impact,” said Centurions quarterback Nathan Eldridge.
At one point in time, it didn’t look like Sheaffer would ever display his strengths on the gridiron. The senior only began playing football his freshman year and had to beg his parents to do so.
Homeschooled through junior high, Sheaffer gave soccer a try but eventually settled on rugby, mostly at his parents’ request.
But Sheaffer wanted football.
“By the time I was in eighth grade, I spent like a whole day convincing my parents to let me go out for football for high school and I was convinced that it was my calling,” he said.
“I really wanted that experience and I thought that with my work ethic and how I approached the game, if I could become good then I could reach the hearts of other kids just like me who were maybe a little, like, less talented and that hard work can compensate for that.”
He got his wish and began freshman football summer camp that summer. He turned heads immediately because of his gritty, physical playing style that was developed through years of rugby.
“I had never seen him before,” Eldridge said. “But he was buff. He was one of the strongest kids out there. I was like shoot, who is this guy?”
Sheaffer played both offense and defense his sophomore year but switched to strictly running back when he joined the varsity squad the following year.
Last season as a junior, Sheaffer ran for 741 yards and four on 133 carries. This year, after recovering from a hamstring injury in spring ball, he’s accumulated 909 yards and one touchdown on 153 carries. He also has 205 receiving yards with one touchdown catch.
Scoring isn’t his focus, though.
“He’s the epitome of a team player,” said Saugus coach Jason Bornn. “He’s not selfish … He just shows up, does his job, goes home, gets up the next day and repeats.”
He’s content with getting the ball down the field and always gives credit to the offensive line’s blocking. His goal is to reach the 1,500-yard mark, an objective that is driven by the high standards he holds himself to.
“I’m the type of guy that believes in living to your full potential in life,” Sheaffer said. “I want to do everything to the best of my abilities because I feel like if you’re not, then that’s a waste and anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”