October 3, 2012

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Ziegenfus playing a leadership role

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Cody Ziegenfus knew that this season, he was going to be a leader on the Husson University football team, whether he was ready for it or not. So Ziegenfus made sure he was ready.

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LEADING THE WAY: Messalonskee High School graduate Cody Ziegenfus (75) is one of two returning players on the offensive line at Husson University. Ziegenfus, a junior tackle, has taken on a leadership role this season because of the team’s lack of upperclassmen.

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CODY ZIEGENFUS

College: Husson
Sport: football
Position: right tackle
High school: Messalonskee
Major: Physical Therapy

"I'm the oldest guy on the offensive line," Ziegenfus, a graduate of Messalonskee High School said. "We have a lot of young guys."

A 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior offensive tackle, Ziegenfus is the most experienced lineman on the Eagles roster. Just one of two returning starters to the Husson line (sophomore center Alex Martin-Wallace is the other), Ziegenfus takes his role as a mentor to his younger teammates seriously.

"We had a lot of guys coming in as freshmen who were in the same situation I was in when I was a freshman," Ziegenfus said. "They've never played in this type of offense. They don't understand the concepts. It's a lot to teach them."

When Ziegenfus joined the Eagles as a freshman in 2010, he'd never played in a spread offense, aside from his one game of experience in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl. At Messalonskee, Ziegenfus played in the double wing system, a tight formation built on running the ball.

"The spread is so much different. I had to learn a whole new concept," Ziegenfus said. "Pass blocking, a lot of it is zone. We probably block half the time man and half the time zone. It's taking your steps and go."

With the left-handed Kash Keezer at quarterback for Husson, Ziegenfus moved from left to right tackle, to protect Keezer's blind side.

"I put a lot of work in the weight room," Ziegenfus said. "I've gotten smarter with the game."

Husson heads into Saturday's game against Gallaudet with a 1-3 record. On Sept. 15, the Eagles beat Anna Maria, 28-22, for their first win since Oct. 9, 2010, also over Anna Maria. The win snapped a 16-game losing streak. To Ziegenfus, it was nice to see all the hard work finally rewarded with a victory.

"The last time we got a win was my freshman year. It had been a long time, and it feels great," Ziegenfus said.

Ziegenfus is in the third year of a six-year physical therapy program. When he graduates, Ziegenfus will have a doctorate degree.

"I want to do something with athletics," he said.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242

tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com

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