It can be hard to get excited for an exhibition football game. Take the NFL’s Pro Bowl; it seems to get progressively worse each year as players compete in a contest void of any real passion or emotion.
But Mackenzie Cashin won’t have that problem today.
Passionate is the only way that the Masconomet fullback and outside linebacker knows how to play the game. Cashin will bring that passion with him to Bentley University when he buckles his chinstrap to take part in the 36th annual Shriners Football All-Star Classic (4 p.m.).
“It’s a fantastic feeling; I never thought I’d be chosen for it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since first watched Masconomet football,” said Cashin. “At our team meeting (Wednesday) the guy said it’s all for fun, but we really want to win this game. So I’m going to give it all I can.”
In just two weeks of practice, the bond Cashin has formed with his North all-star teammates is unlike those found in the locker rooms of most all-star teams.
“The whole team, I already treat them like family,” explained Cashin. “We came together so well. This game is so important to us.”
Cashin rushed for 299 yards and three touchdowns as Masco’s fullback before he broke his arm in a playoff win over Danvers and was sidelined for the team’s final game. He played alongside his twin brother, Austin, last fall.
A downhill runner and devastating tackler, Cashin’s never been one to shy away from contact. He’s also a natural leader who welcomes the responsibilities that come with being an accountable presence in the locker room.
“My biggest strength is that I just love to hit. I don’t care who’s coming at me or if it’s a bigger kid — I’ll throw my body around. And I’m pretty fast,” said Cashin.