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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hidden gems: Euless Trinity's Mao Leota

11:24 PM CST on Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mao Leota

EULESS TRINITY DEFENSIVE END

Playoff opener: Trinity (9-1) vs. Arlington Martin (7-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts Complex

What to look for: Leota, a 6-1, 270-pound senior, is one of the leaders of a defense that has allowed more than 10 points only once this season. Leota will be in the backfield on most plays because his size and strength make him tough to block, and he'll sometimes pancake a running back who is trying to protect a quarterback setting up to pass. He also carries the ball occasionally as a fullback.

Leota says: "I still get butterflies in my stomach during that first playoff game, hearing the crowd and being out there with my teammates."

Coach Steve Lineweaver says: "He's just been around so long, he understands the game. He started as a sophomore during our state championship season, so he's had a lot of big games under his belt."

Matt Wixon

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