FOUNTAIN - Fountain-Fort Carson's football team has a new big man anchoring its defensive line.
And he’s hard to ignore - all 6-foot-7, 257 pounds of him.
Trojan senior Jawaun Tate arrived in Colorado Springs at the end of July after transferring from one of North Carolina’s top football programs to Fountain-Fort Carson to live with his dad. But despite his short tenure in red, white and blue, the F-FC coaching staff can already see his impact as the team’s new nose guard.
“He really changed our team dynamics,” Fountain-Fort Carson coach Jake Novotny said. “He’s a military move kid, and really nice to have him come in, not only because of his size, but he’s also a great character kid.”
But Novotny also said you can’t overlook the impact his size has had on the line.
“Before he moved in we had a big hole to fill - and we filled it with a big man,” Novotny said. “Prior to him coming in our inside linebackers have had to fight off a bunch of blocks, and there were a couple of times (against Ralston Valley) that he was taking on three guys at once - and that really makes a difference.”
Tate’s former high school, Mallard Creek, won the North Carolina 4A state title in 2015 when he was a sophomore, and continued to be an NC powerhouse before his move to Colorado - which for Novotny and the rest of the coaching staff, means Tate’s fundamentals are on par.
“He was coached up very well,” Novotny said. “He’s coming from one of the top programs in the nation, and for us to get a guy that polished is really good.”
Tate transitioned from a full-time offensive lineman to being Fountain-Fort Carson’s go-to big man, playing at nose guard, on the o-line and special teams.
Tate said, “Since coming here I’ve been moving around, trying new things and it’s awesome to be able to come in and help the team out and get them better.”
Tate said he’s always been big for his age, and when he wanted to try out for football in eighth grade, his coaches didn’t need to think twice.
“When I started playing football I didn’t even try out for the team,” Tate said. “They were just like ‘Oh, you’re really big, just come play with us.’”
But since moving to Colorado Springs Tate has become even more of a threat, gaining 20 pounds in just over a month.
“When I lived with my sister I didn’t have the right nutrients, so I was smaller,” Tate said, “So coming here, my dad feeds me a lot, which is a good thing because I have gained a lot of weight since coming here. I wish I would’ve come here earlier, but everything happens for a reason.”
Everything does happen for a reason, and the Fountain-Fort Carson football team is reaping the benefits.