Q&A with senior linebacker Jake McCain

Photograph Courtesy of Manning Smith

Thomas Garlick


Jake McCain, a senior linebacker out of Penn Charter High School, has now closed the book on a memorable career as an Ursinus Bear. He jumped out to a hot start and was in command of the defense as the middle linebacker. But in the seventh game of the season, against the Susquehanna River Hawks, McCain went down with what would be a season-ending knee injury. Although this frustrated McCain, he put the team first and helped coach and instruct junior Brendan Shadle and freshmen Brett Gross. I sat down with McCain to see what this game has meant to him, and how he thought this season went. 

Thomas: Why did you decide to start playing football and what has kept you playing?

Jake: I Decided to start playing because of an influence with my parents and all my older brothers played it, so I wanted to be like them. I continue to play in college because it helped me get into this school and it’s unlike any other sport, you feel a connection with your teammates that no other sport provided. 

Is there a specific moment this year that sticks out in your mind?

Yeah I would say when we bounced back after a tough loss against Juniata, I think that showed what type of team we are. This conference is really competitive, and we were in a lot of the games late and I think that loss helped us learn to keep fighting late in games.

Walk me through the game against Susquehanna, after you got hurt what were you thinking?

I was just in shock kind of. I never have gotten hurt like this, and I have played every game since I have been here, so hearing them tell me I was done was pretty hard to deal with.

That next week in practice what was your mindset moving forward?

Just to do whatever I could to help the team. I know we had some young guys that had to step up and it’s not the easiest thing to do, but I tried to give them help along the way. I have played a lot of football here so I think having me talk them through some situations was helpful. 

Any last thoughts on your career, or for the younger guys that will make up the team next year?

Just to enjoy it really, the game has taught me so many lessons, and I really am starting to see now how they really are going to help me out  moving forward.

Expand on that, what lessons has the game taught you?

Football has taught me a lot, it’s taught me discipline, teamwork, and how to handle adversity along with a lot of other things. It has helped me mature a lot in my life, and like I said I think those skills will help me moving forward.