Growing up in Manhattan, Sam Shields watched a lot of great players on Saturdays at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Senior offensive lineman looked up to former Kansas State lineman Dalton Risner who is now with the Denver Broncos.
“My role model is Dalton Risner,” Shields said. “He was one of the nastiest Linemen in the country and he does great things off the field for his community. Just a great guy.”
Shields will be taking a similar path to Risner as he committed to Kansas State last spring, choosing the Wildcats over Kansas, North Dakota State and South Dakota.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 287 pounds Shields was a standout in 2018 for the Indians. After, leading Manhattan to a 10-2 record he was named to the GPC All future team as well as being named to the All-flint hills team.
While he has a great physique, Shields thinks his mentality and motor are some key traits that make him a force on the gridiron.
“I think my mentality has a lot to do with it,” he stated. “I’ll always be a guy you can count on in the 4th quarter that can keep my head and lead. I also think my physicality and nastiness has a huge impact on my game.”
Along with being successful in athletics Shields also gets it done in the classroom and currently holds a 3.6 GPA. After college Shields would like to still be involved in sports either coaching or working in a collegiate athletic department.
As for now though, Shields and his teammates are looking forward to accomplishing big things this fall.
“Our goals are to win the Centennial League and make a great run in the playoffs,” he stated.
The Indians have some solid experience returning for 2019 including four starters on offense and six starters on defense. As a result, Manhattan definitely has the ability to make some noise late in the playoffs.
“We absolutely can make a run in the playoffs,” Shields stated. “We have a lot of starters on defense back and a lot of experience all around that didn’t end up playing a bunch because we had so many seniors filling spots last year.”
Shields and the Indians open the season on Friday, September 6th as they travel to Topeka the take on the Topeka High Trojans.
Q&A w/ Shields
How did you get involved in football?
I watched football every Saturday and Sunday and played flag football ever since I can remember. I started playing for the little Indians in 3rd grade and fell in love with the sport ever since.
What are your goals this season?
To win the Centennial League and make a great run in the playoffs.\
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
Absolutely. We have a lot of starters on defense back and a lot of experience all around that didn’t end up playing a bunch because we had so many seniors filling spots last year.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I think my mentality has a lot to do with it. I’ll always be a guy you can count on in the 4th quarter that can keep my head and lead. I also think my physicality and nastiness has a huge impact on my game.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
It’s special. We couldn’t ask for a better home game experience. Our students are outstanding as far as being loud and cheering. The section is always packed, even when the weather isn’t ideal.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
We are a team that is always going to compete. We hit hard, run hard, and play the game nasty.
Who are other key players on your team?
I think everyone on our team has a very important role to fill and is capable to have a great season.
Favorite thing about football?
Just being able to go out there on Friday nights and do what I love in front of an outstanding crowd. Being able to be apart of something greater than myself.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
I actually am only playing football.
What is it like to play for your coach?
It’s great. He’s a coach that will always push you to be the best player you can be on and off the field and I love that. He will always have your back.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
Just working a lot on Speed and overall strength.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I am Committed to Kansas State University
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Hanging out with friends and family. Just like to be social.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d like to still be involved with sports, weather that’s coaching or working in a college athletic department.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
Favorite subject is history. I am a motivated student and have a 3.6 GPA.
Who is your role model?
My role model is Dalton Risner. He was one of the nastiest Linemen in the country and he does great things off the field for his community. Just a great guy.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
I really like Bourbon and Baker.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I love to hunt and enjoy the outdoors.
Anything else to add?
I am planning on graduating early and starting school and football in January.