Huskies host home opener next Friday vs. Rosamond
“Lucas Underkoffler is a well-thought, precise kid. He comes to work. He works hard. He’s a great leader. He leads by example.” These were the words of MHS Varsity Football Coach Andrew Jones when I inquired as to which athlete to chat with for the inaugural Husky Student-Athlete of the Week column. It was without reservation that Lucas was chosen; he is Jones’s go-to guy. As Lucas and I sat on the back of Jones’s pickup truck and discussed his senior year, the young man delivered precise and immediate instructions to underclassmen looking for guidance as football practice was beginning.
The 12th grader is starting his final year with Mammoth Unified School District. It is a career that Lucas and his family can be proud of. Number 7, his assigned football jersey, is not just a presence on the gridiron, but throughout several other aspects of life as well. In the classroom, Lucas’s favorite subject is science. He is not enrolled in a science course this academic year, but if he was, it would be anatomy. He enjoys the sciences because of the real life applications the subject possesses. In the back of his mind, he keeps the options of athletic trainer or fire paramedic as career choices. Lucas is quite the athlete, and he wants to pursue his life in sports as far as it will take him, be it throughout college or even on the professional level.
This is Lucas’s fourth year playing football. He made his way up through the ranks to the position of leader of offense, as second year starter at quarterback. Along with Huskies Football, Underkoffler plays baseball and is a ski racer. He’s an all-star at both. He has been playing baseball and ski racing “as long as I can remember,” he said. I know Lucas well from my years of coaching alpine skiing on Mammoth Mountain. Though I never directly coached Lucas, I was always aware of the great things he accomplished. He is respected by coaches on the football field, the baseball diamond, and the ski lifts. Standing on a podium is nothing new for him. He is humble in victory and strong in defeat.
I asked Lucas about his sources of inspiration. On the extrinsic level, he gets a good deal of drive from watching other small town athletes make it big in professional sports. On the intrinsic level, his father Carl gives Lucas that burning fire to give it your all, and then some. Lucas recognized the steps his father took in life, a career which began on a small mountain in Pennsylvania. As Lucas says of his pop, “He learned to ski. Took those skills. Made it to PSIA. Made it into the ski industry.” Carl is a leader of many.
Lucas’s goal in life is simple: “Just being happy.” On the technical level, he wishes to finish high school and atten college.
As for Lucas’s favorite professional team, it’s the California Angels. His favorite athlete is Mike Trout because “He can do it all.” Lucas further offered a bit of life advice for those looking to him for leadership: “If you believe in something enough, anything can happen.”
You’ll find Lucas Underkoffler in action Friday, Sept. 6, as the MHS Huskies open their season of football against Rosamond. JV action starts at 4 p.m. Varsity hits Gault-McClure Field at 7 p.m.