By VINCE PELUSO
For the first three years of his football career with the Grand Valley Mustangs, offensive lineman Alex Oscar said he viewed playing football as more of a job than a fun sport to play.
Then, during his senior year, the Mustangs finished 7-3 and won a Northeastern Athletic Conference title under first-year coach John Glavickas and Oscar suddenly started viewing the game as fun again.
That led to a strong senior campaign that launched Oscar to the next level as he’ll continue his football career and education at Hiram this fall.
“I’m really excited, I can’t wait honestly, we report on Aug. 14,” he said. “The location was a big draw for me because it’s close. They were the only ones that were able to pretty much get me there for free, too.”
Prior to his senior year, Oscar said he could’ve seen himself running track in college, but not playing football.
“No, I didn’t see myself playing football, doing track, maybe, but I never thought about playing football,” he said. “Senior year made it fun, I guess. It felt like a job my first three years, really.
“This year, it really felt like a sport. It felt fun.”
Exceeding expectations and proving doubters wrong who thought the Mustangs couldn’t overcome the graduation of the 2012 senior class helped Oscar enjoy his year.
“I think everyone thought we’d go 3-7, no one expected it from us,” he said. “It felt great. It felt great to burst everyone’s bubble thinking we’d be bad and end up not being good.”
Although he doesn’t now his specific position yet, Oscar said he’ll be playing somewhere along the offensive line this fall.
While he was a part of plenty of great games during his time with the Mustangs, Oscar singled out GV’s win over rival Pymatuning Valley on the road this season as his favorite.
“The PV game this year was great, we ran the wedge like 35 times and they couldn’t stop us,” he said. “Going into the week, we felt we could run away from them. But you never know when you get there on a Friday night. We ran our regular offense in the first half and it didn’t work. So we just went to the wing and started shoving it down their throat. It was great.”
The son of Ronda and David Oscar credited his parents for much of his success.
“They’re really excited that I’m playing in college,” he said. “There’s no way I could’ve done it without them.”
Oscar said making the transition from coach Tom Henson to Galvickas wasn’t as big of an adjustment as some might’ve thought.
“There really wasn’t that much of a difference,” he said. “Both guys can practices really similarly. It was an easy transition. The only difference was Coach Glavickas focused on offense a little more.”
The physical therapy major said he hopes to start as a freshman with the Terriers, but knows it’s not a guarantee.
“Well, I really hope I can go down there and start,” he said. “But college is a different level so I won’t take anything for granted.”
Some might not think highly of the Hiram football program, but that didn’t deter Oscar from choosing them.
“The program hasn’t been great, but I like what the coach said,” he said. “Yeah they’ve been bad in past years and guys will go to other colleges and say Hiram is terrible. But what he said to me is, ‘why not Hiram? Why not us?’ I thought that was a great question. I always thought that when I was at Grand Valley, too. Why not us?”
Until he heads to Hiram in August, Oscar will continue to work on his conditioning.
“I’ll be running on the track a lot and getting in the gym lifting, trying to get stronger,” he said.