When a big play has happened for the Mashpee High School football team the past couple of seasons there is a good chance that Brady Johnston was in the middle of it all for the Falcons. The starting quarterback and safety for the MHS squad has had an excellent season and is a big reason that Mashpee made a run all the way to the Division 7 semifinals.
Brady is the son of Nicole and Robert Johnston. He said that his favorite subject at MHS is math, and that his family, and sneaker collection, are his two most-prized possessions.
“Grown Ups” is Brady’s favorite movie and “Beyond The Lights” is his favorite TV show. Coldplay is his favorite musical act. His go-to meal is garlic parmesan chicken tenders with fries and a frozen strawberry lemonade.
How did you get involved with football? How much do you enjoy it? What is your role on the team?
I started playing football when I was 7 years old. I signed up for the Pop Warner team and instantly fell in love with the game. I started playing quarterback my first year and have stuck with it ever since then. I am a leader on the team and try to keep everyone focused during practices to prepare for our games.
Your team has enjoyed a great playoff run. What has it been like to be a part of, and how much more intense are playoff games compared to regular season games?
This football season has been one of the greatest experiences in my life. The brotherhood that has been built this year is un-matchable. The playoff games have been a lot faster pace and the crowd has been super energetic. We tend to thrive off of their energy.
How do you think your game as a football player has evolved over the years?
I have become a lot more confident when I have the ball in my hands. Some of the games this year have shown me that I have the ability to flip the switch on a game with one break out play. I have become a lot stronger and faster over the years.
You play both quarterback and safety for the Falcons. Both are big parts of the team’s design. Is one position more difficult than the other? Do you like playing one more than the other? Why?
I think that playing quarterback is harder for me specifically because there is a lot going through your mind given only seconds to make a decision. The average football play lasts about 4 seconds. Being able to read defenses is very important when it comes to playing quarterback. I enjoy playing quarterback more because I like to be able to be in control. I feel that I can change the pace of the game whenever I want.
Your brother also played quarterback at Mashpee. How much did you learn from him, and have you felt any pressure to live up to his legacy? Do you talk with him about the games?
I have learned almost everything I know from him. From throwing the ball around in the backyard to watching him play in Gillette. I think it’s easy to say that having an older brother with three Super Bowl rings puts a lot of pressure on your back. We love to talk about sports, and after every game I send him the Hudl highlights.
Every sport requires a certain set of skills that the layman may not know about. What is something about football that is difficult to do that most people would not think about?
Something that is difficult in my position is that you have to be able to read what the defense is going to do, sometimes before the ball is even snapped. You only get a split second to make a decision and if you mess up you should always continue going 100 percent until the clock hits 0:00.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
A scouting report would say that I am a dual-threat QB, being able to throw and run. I am shifty and am always looking to fight for extra yards. On the defensive side of the ball I am a ball hawk, always looking for a chance to get a turnover.
You also play basketball at Mashpee. Have you thought about what that team will be like this year, and how excited are you to play?
I am hoping that we can make a playoff run like we did for football. I am excited and think we will have a great season.
Of all the games that you have ever played in is there one that stands out as the best? Why?
One game that has stood out to me was our playoff game in Amesbury. The first play of the second half I kept the ball for a 65-yard touchdown run, and I knew right then that they couldn’t hang with us anymore. We held them to 65 yards and no touchdowns in the second half. The atmosphere in that stadium was electric. The opposing fan section was in my ear all night, but it did not phase me. When that clock hit 0:00 I had never felt better in my life.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career so far was our first round playoff game against Blue Hills. I had 3 rushing TDs and two passing TDs, and 250 total yards. I felt unstoppable during that game and it carried on into the Amesbury game. I felt unstoppable when I had the ball in my hands.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
The best teammate that I have ever played with is Kayden Eaton. Kayden is easily one of the best athletes that I know. He is dominant on both sides of the ball and one of the hardest working kids I know. His work ethic is remarkable. Kayden and I were like a dynamic duo this year, as we would combine for over 200 yards almost every game. When he is running the ball he is unstoppable. On defense he just knows where the ball is going before it is snapped. I wish I could get just one more year with that kid.
Is there a coach or mentor that has made a difference in your growth as a player, or as a person? What did they do to help you along the way?
There are a few coaches that have made a difference in my growth as a player. One being Coach Zinser, who was my QB and DB coach throughout my first few years at MHS. He worked with me and the receivers this summer. He is not coaching us this year, but has always asked me about the games this year and stayed in touch. Another would be Coach Augusta, who I was introduced to when I came up after my eighth grade season to spend the rest of the season with the JV and Varsity teams. He was our strength and conditioning coach until this year and he introduced me to the weight room. He had pushed me to workout in the off-season and he came to our first-round playoff game against Blue Hills. My basketball coach, Coach Clark, is another coach who has made a difference in my growth as a player. My connection with Coach Clark is unlike my connection with any other. He is more like a friend to me off the court, but when it comes to the game he gets right to it. He worked out with me all last spring in the weight room and if we want to run pick up games, he’s always down to lace up the Kicks. And lastly, my Pop Warner coach, Coach Pete has made a tremendous impact on my growth as a player and person in general. He introduced me to the sport and helped me build my confidence on the field. He has come to every game this season and spoke to me before and after every game. He can hype up the team by just being present.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
Before every home game, I sit in my locker and try to focus on the game. I always stay in the back when my team is running out onto the field as well as when we shake hands after the game.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
Playing sports has taught me countless lessons about work ethic. It has taught me that nothing in life comes easy and much in sports you must work hard for success. This week especially has shown me that this sort of stuff flies by. It seems like yesterday I was suiting up for my first Pop Warner game and now it is all coming to an end.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
I would like to be able to time travel to see what the world was like in the past and not have to read about it in a history book. It would be a lot more interesting to see it with my own eyes, in person, than reading it or seeing it in a museum. Going into the future would also be extremely interesting.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my family, starting with my Dad. He has always pushed me to be the best I can be and to always work my hardest. I talk with him about every game, every week, and always talk to him post-game. My mom has also always been at every game for me, and supported me through all of the years. My brother, Jake, who also played quarterback at Mashpee, has made me a tougher kid throughout my childhood by always competing with me in the backyard and trying to push me to be great. My sisters are both very supportive and text me before every game to wish me luck. I would also like to thank all of my coaches throughout the years. And most definitely would like to thank all of my teammates and friends for pushing me to work hard and be the person I am today.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
The biggest difference between me as a freshman and as a senior is that I took football for granted back then. I didn’t really work as hard as I wish I did. It didn’t really hit me until last year that high school sports don’t last forever. I won’t always have the chance to express my talent every Friday night under the lights for my school. It comes to an end at some point. I would tell my freshman self to be a kid, but also work hard in school and on the field to try and be the best student-athlete that I can be. Student first. Athlete second.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
Something that people would be surprised to learn about me would be that I am allergic to eggs. I also am a very picky eater.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I could switch places with one person for a week it would be with one of my best friends, Michael Perrino. Michael has TAR syndrome and rides around in a wheelchair everyday. Michael’s love for basketball and football is like no other, and I would want him to experience what it would be like for him to be able to play. While battling his disability, he still finds ways to surround himself with joyful and loving friends and keep a smile on his face everyday.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My idea of the perfect day would be to wake up early and go to the gym, get a good workout in and eat breakfast. I would then go to the beach with all my friends and spend the day there. I would finish the night with a movie and dinner with my girlfriend and family. Then get on my Xbox and play NBA2K with my friends.
What are your post high school plans?
I plan on attending a four-year college to pursue a degree in Athletic Training, and playing football.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself being an athletic trainer for a sports team and living in New England still. I hope to have a little boy, getting him ready to take on the QB legacy.