Why is Mansfield wide out Jackson Gleeson so hard to defend?
Because he is one of the fastest players in the state.
The Tigers senior was key in Mansfield’s 42-3 victory over Keller Central in the bi-district round of the playoffs this season, and coach Dan Maberry said he could not have asked for more from his receiver.
“Jackson had a great game,” Maberry said. “He did everything we could ask of him. Made some big time catches for us and was a difference-maker in the game.”
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Gleeson caught five passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns (40, 32) in the Tigers victory over Keller Central, and his speed is a big part of the reason why.
Gleeson has competed at the state level in the 200-meter relay in track and field and said that track “helps with my quick reacting and top end speed.”
In spite of Gleeson’s ability in both football and track, the Mansfield senior said it was actually a different sport that captured his fancy throughout most of his childhood.
“I had played soccer for 12 years before I started high school,” Gleeson said. “But then I fell in love with football when I began playing in seventh grade.”
Gleeson would eventually start playing football and running track exclusively, and said that his career, especially in football, was not without its difficulties in the beginning.
“My biggest challenge was probably all the injuries I had early in my high school career,” Gleeson said. “I had to just keep pushing to get past them.”
Gleeson is headed to Baylor University next fall, where he will play football and run track, and he said that as far as this season is concerned, there is still more to accomplish.
“I think the team has played great this season so far, but we still have not reached our full potential,” Gleeson said.
Maberry said that Gleeson has meant a lot to the Mansfield football program over the years and said that off the field, he is an equally impressive young man.
“He is a worker,” Maberry said. “Any chance he gets, he is doing the extra things to make him better. He is a great kid as well. It has been fun coaching him.”
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