By John Goolsby
Senior year is a special time. For Jacob Mahand, his senior football season is extra special. Mahand and his father are getting to experience it together. Chris Mahand, a long-time head coach in the state, retired last year so he would have the opportunity to watch Jacob play his senior year. Mahand thought he’d be watching his son from the stands. However, Shades Valley’s Rueben Nelson had other plans. Nelson saw the opportunity to add the veteran coach to his staff and convinced Mahand to roam the Alabama sidelines for one more season.
The two Mahands spend Friday nights trying to shut the opposing offenses down. It is a special time for Coach Mahand, too. “It’s like getting everything you wanted for Christmas,” he said. “This is the best coaching decision I have made in my twenty-five years of coaching. I wish I had made this decision early on in my career.”
For the younger Mahand, the experience has been nothing but positive. “It’s good to have him as a coach because he knows me best and understands how I learn,” he said. “He knows how to teach me when I don’t understand.”
When Mahand, the coach, evaluates his son, the player, he says, “his strength is his willingness to learn. He is coachable, has a positive attitude, is respectful, but most of all, I see his work ethic.”
The talented 6’2 defensive back, who his mom, Angel Mahand, calls “the humble beast” had a busy summer. He went to Troy, West Alabama, Mississippi State and UAB for football camps.
Mahand recently picked up an official offer from Miles College and has interest from Jacksonville State and Austin Peay.
Mahand expects to play defensive back in college. He has the versatility to play either safety or corner. “I prefer to play corner because that’s the position that I am most skilled,” he said.
Mahand, who had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against Huffman, wants to be remembered as being humble and “for having the most picks in one season.”
When the football season wraps up, he’ll starting preparing for the diamond as Mahand plays baseball for Valley.
Big things are ahead for the “humble beast,” whose motto is “Stay humble and hustle hard.