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Salina Central’s Donovan Johnson – Athlete Spotlight Presented By American Family Insurance, Daran Neuschafer

By Hayden Swope

Salina Central’s football season started off hot and never seemed to slow down. The 5-1 Mustangs have numerous weapons on the field, and a part of that is linebacker Donovan Johnson. 

With the success his team has had so far, Johnson hopes it continues, and it starts with being a reliable athlete on and off the field. 

“This season I focused on being more of a leader,” Johnson said. “This stems from the understanding that being a solid linebacker is greater than just being an individual. It’s about being able to guide and inspire our team to achieve the things you know they can.”

While the wins have been adding up, Johnson knows the biggest part of the game is the memories made with the team. 

“The most memorable moment from the season so far is stopping Andover High School on fourth down and going on to win the game by one point,” Johnson said. “This game meant an immense amount to our coach and being able to contribute was outstanding. It was not just another win on the record but a lesson that taught us the power of resilience and teamwork.”

All the experience Johnson has received, while becoming the best athlete he can be, has given him the opportunity to help others achieve the same goals. 

“I want to study exercise sciences,” Johnson said. “I’ve always been interested in the deeper art of strength training. I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent reading books and trying to increase my understanding of this field. After college I plan on becoming a private strength and conditioning coach with the overall goal of training kids to become the freak athletes I know each kid can become.”

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