The Mean Green football kicked off the season with an outstanding victory against SMU this past Saturday. The team hailed an exceptional lead throughout the whole game, up by 20 at halftime and ending the game with a win 46-23! Green and white pom-poms shook throughout the crowd as Quarterback Mason Fine led his team to the W. 29,519 people filled Apogee Stadium which set a new attendance record for UNT. After the final whistle, Ross and Marshall Von Erich competed in a wrestling match which also titled us the first school to host a professional match following a football game.
We bet this game is just a preview of the hopeful season to come. Quarterback Mason Fine anticipates that the team can contribute to the great sense of community at UNT and in Denton.
“A community, to me, means taking care of one another like family,” Fine said, “And that’s really what we do, going around Denton and just bringing everyone in.”
UNT plays again this Saturday, September 8th at Apogee against the University of Incarnate Word. Make sure to come through repping the Mean Green with all your friends. While you’re waiting for Saturday night you can learn a little bit more about Mason Fine and his vision for the upcoming season by reading the short Q&A session below.
Q&A session with Mason Fine
Tell me about yourself.
“My name is Mason Fine and I’m from Locust Grove, Oklahoma. I’m the quarterback for the UNT football team. I try to stay outdoors. I do a lot of fishing, hunting, hiking–everything like that. Occasionally in my free time, if I can and it’s hot outside, I’ll play some Fortnite on the XBox.”
How did you get into football/what age did you start playing?
“I started playing about fourth grade. My family is really not a big football family, but I remember watching Adrian Peterson from the OU Sooners on TV and that was kind of a big deal, you know Oklahoma football from where I’m from. I was talking with my dad and I said hey I want to get into that. And by my fourth-grade year, he said alright let’s go an tryout, and that’s really when I started.”
How do you balance football career/social life/academics?
“They did a really good job of working with our schedule with football being really early in the morning so we start about 6 a.m. and go until about 1 p.m. They put our classes in the afternoon, so really in the morning I’m focused on football and in the afternoon I’m focused on academics. When I’m in there I try to get my homework done. Going to class is the main thing so you can do your homework quick, and then social life if I have time to do that. So really it goes; athletics in the morning, focus on your academics in the afternoon and then do your homework in the evening. If you have some time to hang out with your friends at night, then do that.”
What’re you studying?
What was do you plan to increase school pride at UNT?
“Just getting everyone excited. You know UNT the brand, get the brand out there. Our administration sports wise is doing a great job branding, and getting our name out there. Billboards, getting in magazines, and in buildings and stuff like that. And really, from my perspective, just to win games. So with football when you win games, you put more fans in the stadium, you get more national recognition, you get the name out there.”
Why do you think school pride is important?
“It’s just as good as a whole and as a university to get the students involved and doing some kind of activity. If that’s greek life, clubs, sports, getting them out here watching games. It’s always good to have people sitting there. I remember my most fun times have been just going to games and going to dance around, and meeting new people. And just getting out there and branching out, making those connections and networking with people. Because you never know what’s going to happen outside of college. You focus and you have fun at college, but after college is really what we’re working for. Towards your job, your career–you never know who you’re going to meet at those events and what they’re going to go out and do. So it’s always good to have those after college connections.”
Advice for freshman/transfer students about getting involved and going to game?
“Yeah, so whatever it is I would like to encourage you to do something besides just going to class, going home, and doing your homework. Get involved with some type of club, on-campus job, greek life, or even intramural sports–anything like that to get involved, find a club, and meet new friends. It’ll make your time, I think personally, a little bit easier here at college.”
What does community mean to you?
“A community to me, I’m from a small town, so it’s about everyone coming together as a whole and everyone caring about each other. Having that trust, that relationship with everyone, and knowing everyone, and caring for everyone– do whatever you can to help out one another. A community, to me, means taking care of one another like family. And that’s really what we do, going around Denton and just bringing everyone in. And just try to love and care for each other.”
How do you keep yourself and the team motivated?
“I think you just remind them why we started playing football in the first place. Why did you go away from home? At the college level you sacrifice a lot, so when you say “what are you sacrificing for?” that’s your motivation. I always ask them, what do you play football for? A lot of those guys will say “I’m playing for my mom or my friends back home, or I’m trying to show one of my cousins or my friends that you can do something beyond staying around your house.” I remind them about that, their motivation, and then tell them to go out there and have fun. We put a lot of sweat and tears and hours into this, so we can’t let it go to waste. We have a blessing, we come to college and train and get to play a sport that we love.”
Who is your role model?
“My dad. My role model is my dad, he always has been. I’ve been blessed with great parents so I would say both my parents, but I really look up to my dad because I want to be like him. He’s taught me how to be a man. At the end of the day, it is not about the plays or all the attention. At the end of the day, it’s about becoming a better man.”
See you Saturday night at 6:30 for kickoff!