Seymour senior a force at nose tackle


Branson Self began playing football in Seymour in fourth grade and continued playing through eighth grade.

He sat out his freshman year but missed it so much he returned to the gridiron his sophomore year.

He said it is one of the best decisions he has ever made.

Another thing that has made football more enjoyable for him was switching from offense to defense.

“My sophomore year, I played offense, and right at the beginning of the season of my junior year, they said I was now on defense," Self said. "I started Week 1, so it was a weird transition. I love defense. Hitting people is the best part.”

The Owls play a three-man front, and Self said he lines up over center.

“At nose guard, my job is mostly to take on double-teams and to not get driven back," Self said. "The way we run it, I two-gap, so I have both A gaps and both sides of the center. Most of the time, I’m getting double-teamed from one side or the other, so I have to sit there and hold my gap. That way, the linebackers can fill.”

Self, who is 6-foot, 290 pounds, said his assignment changes every Friday night depending on what offense the opponent runs.

“I’m normally the biggest one on the line," Self said. "I’m mostly guard to guard. I’m either hitting one guard or the other, and I’m always hitting the center. In every type of different formations, I see different blocks. Last week, (Brownstown) did a lot of cut blocking and a lot of double-teaming. They did a lot of different blocks, and they were good at what they did.”

Self said you have to pay attention to downs and distance to figure out what the opponent is going to run.

“Usually when it’s first down or second down and short, I’m expecting run," he said. "But second and long or third and long, you can usually look at the fingertips of the linemen, and if they’re white-knuckled, they’re coming at you because they have a lot of weight on there.

“Sometimes, if they’re not experienced or are not the smartest linemen, they’ll sit back in their stance like they’re getting ready to pass block, and you can kind of read it. Right when the ball is snapped, I look at the center’s feet, and if he takes a right step, I try to get his right shoulder or if he takes a left step, I take his left shoulder, and if he steps back, it’s usually a pass set, and I watch for the ball.”

Self said the weights program has helped him improve as a player.

“The weight room has impacted us big. It’s not only the weight room, it’s also coach (Mike) Kelly coming in," he said. "He pushed me to get my squat max from 315 to 455 in less than a year.”

On the schedule, Self looks forward to the home games.

“(Home) games are the best games to be at with the crowd behind you and the student section," Self said. "My favorite away game so far is definitely the Brownstown game last week. I think the best part about Friday nights is seeing your family after a game after a win and listen to the student section here roar when you’re on the field."

The senior has enjoyed being a student at SHS.

“I’m going to miss it. It has been fun," Self said. "All the teachers are awesome. I’ll remember everything. You get the high school experience, hang out with friends after a football game or go and watch other sports play.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Self file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Branson Self

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Shelly Acton and David Self

Siblings: Andon, Miller, Maddox, Courtney, Lauren, Mitch and Matt

Sports: Football, three years; baseball, one year

Athletic highlight: Defensive lineman of the week

Plans after high school: Attend college and become a firefighter

Favorite food: Fish

Favorite musician: Eric Church

Favorite movie: "Step Brothers"

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers


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