Yesterday was the annual border war between the Mashpee and Sandwich High School football teams, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who takes it as personally as Mashpee High senior co-captain Samson Brooks. The team’s starting center and middle linebacker understands what is at stake because he has a foot in each world. Brooks attends MHS and is a proud football player. Technically, though, he lives in Sandwich. His home is just across the border.
The son of Shelda and Daniel Brooks said that his favorite subject in school is history. His most prized possession is his Honda Accord. He has worked part-time for Clambakes, Etc., and now that football season is over he also may arrive at your door delivering a Zoe’s Pizza.
Samson, who also plays lacrosse at MHS, said that “Stepbrothers” is his favorite movie and “That 70’s Show” is his favorite TV show. He’s a big fan of Guns N’ Roses musica as well. His go-to meal is a medium-rare end cut steak with fries and a Sprite, followed by a hot fudge sundae.
How did you get involved with football? How much do you enjoy it?
Ever since I went to the 2011 Super Bowl for Mashpee, my very first game, I had realized I wanted to be a part of something like that. Getting the opportunity to play in a professional stadium during high school had me in awe. I later joined in my 8th grade year, and played with Coach Corrigan for the middle school team and fell in love with the sport.
You’ve had a much bigger role with the team as a senior. What has it meant to you to be counted upon more?
Becoming a senior captain was something I strove for ever since I joined the football team in middle school, and once I was announced captain this year I knew the responsibilities that came with it. I watched many senior classes pass through, leading by example and execution, and being great leaders on and off the field. That’s how I learned to be the captain I was for my team.
The season did not end up where the Falcons hoped that it would. What was the biggest difference this year from previous seasons?
The biggest difference this year was the battle over adversity. In past years we have always overcome small and large obstacles throughout the season, and some we handled to our full effort and potential, some we didn’t. This year overcoming injuries was a main factor—in which many kids on our team stepped up and performed their very best in the chances they were given. This sparks a remembrance that my teammates at any chance they had to be on the field, even when banged up, we sacrificed anything for each other to play another game.
Thanksgiving will be your final high school football game. What does that mean to you as the big day approaches?
As Thanksgiving approaches I’m in disbelief that my final football game is only a few days away. Just thinking back to freshman year, wishing I was a senior and could just get through what seemed like a year-long season; now looking back at how fast those five years of playing this sport flew by, I’m wishing I could get a chance to experience it all again. The weight room throughout summer, August camps, two-a-days, long practices in the blazing heat and the freezing cold. Overall, I am going to miss every single second of it, because throughout high school this sport becomes a major part of your life, putting in countless hours for those Friday nights.
There has been talk about the school getting a turf field in the future. As a football and lacrosse player, what are your thoughts on the issue?
The turf field is a great investment for Mashpee High School, but personally, as a senior, I wish it was put in place a lot sooner, so I could have experienced the new field. But, on the other side, I’m glad to be the last senior class to play on that field that many people that bled blue, just like me, had played on years before me.
You also play lacrosse for the Falcons. What are your expectations for the coming season?
For this upcoming lacrosse season I have high expectation for myself and the rest of the team, seeing how we have a lot of young talent who didn’t thrive last year but seems to have real potential after how we performed as a team toward the end of the season.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
My scouting report would most likely consist of talking about how I am undersized at my offensive position, at center being about 100 pounds less than the average defensive tackle. I have to block, but make up for it with speed and technique, having a faster 40-yard dash time than some receivers. On defense, as a first-year middle linebacker, at times I am able to make plays on good athletes, but I just lack experience that helps me excel to be the best backer I could be. Mentally, I’m a very determined and tough individual.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
The one game over my whole career I would replay was the biggest loss of this season, against Nantucket, especially from a personal standpoint. Thinking as a senior captain, I should have stepped up and brought some momentum to the field, but as a team we didn’t come together and perform our best game, because I truly believe we had the better team on that field that night. We just didn’t make up for the mistakes and errors we made as a program.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career was my last Friday night game under the lights in Bellingham, where we had played the Bellingham Hawks, a very well-coached and athletic team that was a great competition. Defensively it was my best game all season; that week I seemed tuned into reads and it transitioned to the game, being able to expect plays before they had developed. On the offensive side I was blocking a large human—about 6 foot, 3 inches and about 300 pounds—which gave me a tough time at some points, but at the end of the night I had pancaked him on the goal line as we scored, which was the best feeling of the night.
Who is the best teammate I’ve ever played with?
That is almost an impossible question for me to answer. There are too many great kids that I look at as my brothers that I have played with over the last five years of this sport. From my senior class last year, Devaun Ford, Xavier Gonzales, Cam Kergo, my close friend that for sure stands out among the many great teammates I had played with. Along with my senior class this year, Nolan Lyons, Devon Hughes, and Nathaniel Miller—three players I will always remember playing with because of how much of an impact they had on my football career.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
Personally, I am not a very superstitious person. I believe it’s all in how you perform in the moment, not the actions leading up to that moment.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The biggest thing I take from my football career is the idea of taking advantage of every second you have to get better. That not only applies to sports, but in all aspects of life. Improving yourself for the better and creating the best opportunities to thrive are key.
Who has been your inspiration?
When I think of my inspiration, and what made me who I am today, I think of my past teammates that created a path for me to follow, and also set behind for my fellow underclassmen who hopefully look up to me the way I did to past senior classes. Seeing so much greatness pass through Mashpee, and being part of a team that had won three consecutive state championships, you hold yourself to the same expectation, which allowed me to better myself and become the player I am.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would start by thanking my parents for coming to all my games throughout my high school career, and supporting me along the way, which meant much more than they could imagine. And, of course, next would be my brothers I played with through the toughest of games, and even the games we got to put in the JV by halftime, which were the best rides home. And last, but not least, the coaching staff that had helped make me the player I am today. They taught me almost everything I know about the game, which had a huge impact on me as a person.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
The most interesting place I have been is most likely New Hampshire, although it is not too far from home, and I haven’t traveled too far out outside of New England. This place has been special. What made this place so interesting to me was the countless hikes I have experienced with my family and friends that had really made me fall in love with the outdoors.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
One person I would switch places with for one week would most definitely be a professional football player such as Donte Hightower. He is a top-tier linebacker in the NFL and it would be an amazing experience to see how fast the game is, and to play against the best competition in the world.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My perfect day would consist of a day on the lake in mid-July with the boys. Going out on the hydra sport, the Jet-Ski, tubing, and other countless things to do in the summer. Thankfully, I got to experience that many times this summer, living on Peters Pond and being able to have the best hangout spot around.
What are your post high school plans?
My post-high school plans is to join the Navy and serve for four years, then come out into either the career field of fire science, and become a firefighter, or go to Mass Maritime Academy and get a degree in engineering. I believe this is the best possible option for me, to go experience the world and get a free education in something I truly want to do.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
Following my post high school plans I will either be a firefighter somewhere in the US, where I would think I could have the most impact, or become an engineer and get into a great field where I can thrive and make the most money I can to live my best life.