New England Patriots Find Huge Fan Base In Small Sierra Community
Mariposa, Ca — With the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, you may want think twice about donning a New York Giants t-shirt in the small town of Mariposa.
Two former Mariposa County High football products will be lining for the New England Patriots on Sunday. Starting offensive guard Logan Mankins will have the task of helping to protect quarterback Tom Brady and back-up tight end Stephen Spach hopes to see time on special teams.
In 1998, Mankins and Spach were sophomore student athletes at Mariposa. Mankins graduated from the school in 2000, while Spach later moved out of the county, and graduated from Clovis High School.
While the two only spent one year together in high school, they were later reunited at Fresno State. Associate Head Coach John Baxter says he is not surprised at the success the two are now having in the NFL.
“Steve Spach was a walk-on and Logan Mankins had to sit out and pay his own way for a year while he was getting his grades together,” says Baxter. “They were true bulldogs. They were tough hard nose guys while they were here, and they´re that way there.”
Baxter says the path of the two compare well with the Patriots most well known stars. “Tom Brady´s a quarterback that Michigan benched, Randy Moss was a guy that no one could seem to get corralled, but they went to New England and produced big things,” adds Baxter. “Those guys (Mankins and Spach) I think also really exemplify what the Patriots are about.”
Some local establishments in the town of Mariposa, which boasts a population of just under 1,400 residents, have announced plans to hold special Super Bowl events in recognition of the two hometown heroes.
“There are cities with a million people that don´t have two guys like that,” says Baxter. “What a great thing for that community.”
Written by BJ Hansen