Penn Hills product Ames looks to close football career strong at St. Francis (Pa.)
For the majority of his life, Mike Ames has been known for his abilities on the football field.
During his senior season at St. Francis (Pa.), he has tried to cherish his final weeks playing football as he looks to lead the team toward a Northeast Conference title.
The 2015 Penn Hills graduate is in his second year as the starting center for the Red Flash and was selected for the preseason All-NEC second team.
Last season, Ames started all 11 games at center and was selected second-team All-NEC. Ames made 11 starts at guard during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“I’m cherishing every moment all the way down to a hot Wednesday practice in camp to waking up at 6 a.m. for morning meetings. I’m taking it all in,” Ames said.
“I had an internship this past summer. Working is great, but it’s nothing like football, and it made me realize that. I really appreciate the little things. I’m taking it all in and hoping time slows down a bit.”
Ames, an accounting and finance major, has been making calls on the line for redshirt senior right tackle Evan Ferguson, redshirt senior left tackle Mederick Flavius Jr., redshirt junior right guard Christian Eubanks and redshirt junior left guard Alec Shriner.
“We all came in together and we all played at a young age. We’re all close together. We hang out constantly. It helps to have that kind of friendship on the offensive line,” Ames said. “The communication is a lot better when that bond is there and you’ve been playing together for years. It was exciting to have everyone come back. We were pumped for this year, and it has been a lot of fun this year.”
Ames, a three-time member of the NEC-All-Academic team, was recently named as a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is given annually to the top scholar-athlete across all college football subdivisions.
“It’s nice to get recognized. Anytime you get recognized, it’s a good feeling. I don’t expect that kind of stuff. To me, the team goals are way more important. I really want to get back to winning that NEC championship game. With conference play coming up, we just want to go 1-0 every week,” Ames said.
The former Indian is the St. Francis chapter president of Uplifting Athletes, an organization that raises money for rare diseases. Ames participates in the annual Sports 4 Kids Day in the spring at St. Francis, as well as assisting the less fortunate in Loretto.
“I do that stuff because I enjoy it. To me, it’s nice to do things outside of football,” he said. “When you play football, people like to label you as just a football player. That’s never been me. I like doing stuff out in the community. If I can help other people and make them feel good then it’s all worth it.”
Ames, a team captain, is looking to get the Red Flash back to NEC championship game, which St. Francis won in 2016.
The Red Flash have started the season 2-3 in nonconference play and will open conference play at Wagner on at noon Oct. 13.
The Red Flash won their two nonconference games over Delaware State and West Virginia Wesleyan by a combined score of 104-17. St. Francis lost each of their three games by eight points or less to Lehigh, Richmond and Albany.
“I want to help the team get to that goal of a championship,” Ames said. “For those seniors during my sophomore year, I just know the whole springtime they were here with smiles on their faces. To go out on top like that and winning the NEC your senior year has to be an incredible feeling.”
No matter how his collegiate football career ends, Ames knows he has a job waiting for him at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and he will get himself prepared to take the CPA exam.