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High school football: Harvard's Bough focusing on staying healthy for senior season

HARVARD – Shawn Bough’s list of goals for his senior season starts with a modest one – stay healthy.

Bough’s sophomore season with Harvard ended a few games prematurely with an ankle injury.

Last season, a cracked collarbone kept him out until Week 4, and affected him after that.

“I wanted to go get that play, get a hit, and still felt it,” said Bough, who tried his best to fight through. “I got cleared the day of the game the first time I played. I went out there, it was pretty bad.”

Bough feels like that’s all behind him now. The senior tight end-linebacker eagerly looks forward to a season in which, for the first time since 2015, the Hornets can win a game on the field. He wants to be a force in making that happen.

“I want to bring intensity. I love it,” said Bough, who is 6-foot-1, 220 pounds. “Get everyone going, playing better. I feel like people were still putting in work (last year), getting those young guys going. I feel like this year we’re going to use that 0-9 season as fuel to push ourselves.”

Harvard was 0-9 last season and 1-8 the year before, the lone win coming as a forfeit from Chicago Kelvyn Park. But last year seemed different. The Hornets lost to Oregon by six points, to Woodstock by one, to Richmond-Burton by seven.

In the process, with only five seniors, numerous sophomores and freshmen got playing time. There are only eight seniors this season, with Bough as one of the leaders.

“Ever since his freshman year, he’s kind of been our leader,” Hornets offensive tackle-defensive lineman Ben Sandoval said. “He likes to take control. He’ll step up when he needs to and take control of the situation. If something’s bad, he’s fixing it.”

Running back-safety Antonio Rodriguez appreciates the way Bough takes charge of things.

“Mostly he’s positive,” Rodriguez said. “No matter what happens, he always tries to stay positive. Even through the 0-9 seasons. He makes sure we’re in check and know what we’re doing.”

Hornets coach Sean Saylor was frustrated for Bough last season. He suffered the injury in one of their last 7-on-7 sessions in July.

“He wasn’t where he was during the summer (when he came back),” Saylor said. “It was a little slow going, getting back to game pace and physicality.”

Bough has played quarterback, receiver and outside linebacker. This season he will play two other positions.

“His willingness to do whatever we need him to do,” Saylor said. “He works hard in the offseason. He’s a good example. Our goal is to keep him injury-free.”

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