The flashback to December 2021 and watching the final seconds count down on the clock while playing in the Class 5A state championship football game is a memory that Garrett Shumway won’t soon forget. But the 2023 senior is determined to erase that feeling and replace it with a golden moment this fall
“It was more than heartbreaking because we all had worked so hard,” said Shumway. “The long term effect is what’s pushing me and our team to never quit working.”
The 6-0, 275-pound senior defensive lineman began playing football when he was in the fourth grade.
“I’ve always played on the front line, offense and defense,” said the Buffs defensive lineman who recorded 15 tackles for loss as a junior amidst making 80 tackles. ‘I love bringing the pain by playing aggressively in order to punish the opponent. The crash and hearing my name called over the stadium speakers is a real adrenalin rush.”
Emphasizing that there’s only one goal, for this year’s team, to win the Class 5A gold ball, Shumway is a beast in the weight room with a 605-pound squat and 315-pound bench lift. In addition to his physical training and conditioning, the man who wears the Buffaloes number-53 jersey explains there’s more required than just being strong.
“Even on the defensive line, you have to be smart and need to stay positive,” Shumway said with a wink. “It takes a team effort everyday to improve. As a senior, I try to be a leader by example, never take a play off even in practice and encourage everyone to get better and do things the right way the first time.”
The influence of a family example is what shapes the everyday approach to life of Shumway.
“It’s all about hard work. My uncle (Trent Dugan) along with my mom (Lisa Branson) and dad (Matt Shumway) have always woke up early, most days at 4am to go to work so we could have the things we need or want.”
And as the start of the 2022 season approaches, Garrett Shumway clinches his jaw while voicing his desired legacy as a McAlester Buffalo.
“Right now, or in the future, I want to be known as the guy who always was working hard to get better, on the football field, in the classroom or anywhere else. And most of all, I definitely want everyone to remember the 2022 McAlester Buffaloes as state champions.”