As Max Redfield grabs the quick out he easily makes the first man miss and jets 15 yards down the sideline before the opposing safety can lay a finger on him. It’s quickly apparent this young man was born to run.
One should have expected Max to be a standout on the football field as both his parents were division one collegiate athletes. Redfield’s mother, Kathy Mora, played soccer at the University of Connecticut while his father, Floyd Redfield, ran the 400 meters in track and field at UConn.
Max was born in Stamford, Connnecticut. He began playing flag football at the age of 4 and hasn’t looked back. In 2004 Redfield and his mother moved from Connecticut to Huntington Beach where they lived for 6 years before moving to Mission Viejo. Max began his football career on the JV team as a freshman at Mission Viejo High. However his obvious talents forced the coach’s hand and he was promoted to varsity as a sophomore.
Redfield realizes the blessing and value of his enormous on-field talents but he takes just as much pride in his leadership abilities on and off the field. Max remarks, ”Leadership is a critical skill regardless of the field you are in, whether it’s in sports, business or in the classroom.” The Mission Viejo coaching staff has preached the value of leadership, “Head Coach Bob Johnson is one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met and all my other coaches as well. They have done a great job of teaching me leadership skills and morals”
Part of said leadership is his ability to remain humble and recognize the contributions of others. After a recent victory over Trabuco Hills Redfield was quick to heap praise on the play of his teammates, particularly defensive linemen Garrett Marino & Michael Mathews, “those two are both great players. I think they’re Division I players. They work their butts off in practice and in the weight room. It shows in the game and it makes my job a lot easier.”
Leadership is also important at home, where Redfield serves as a role model to his 9 year old brother Langston. With Redield’s father out of the picture early in Langston’s life the onus fell on Max to be a fatherly figure at home.
According to Mora, “Max and Langston play games together including playstation, however Max still takes a stern approach when necessary, telling him to eat his dinner or clean his room…Due to the age gap between the two of them there isn’t competition or fighting. Max is an excellent role model to Langston and Langston is Max’s biggest fan.”
As one might expect between football in the fall, basketball in the winter and track in the spring there isn’t much time for other activities. However mom makes sure her son always finds time for his school work. He has a particular interest in Marine Biology, “I love learning about plant life and the ocean floor. It’s all pretty interesting.” A big grin comes across Redfield’s face when declaring his 3.6 GPA.
An interest of late has been politics and in particular the presidential debates. While not yet old enough to vote, Redfield and his mother enjoyed watching President Obama and Governor Romney present ideas on the various issues facing our country. ”Whomever the next president is, I hope they actually make a difference, make significant changes to our country for the better, and don’t just say they will.”
After spending the majority of his life in Southern California it is evident Redfield has done a pretty good job of adopting the trademark calm and laid-back persona. Redfield may have 3-4 more years to perfect those personality traits as he is considering attending USC on a football scholarship in the fall of 2013. There is one element of the SoCal culture though that he doesn’t embrace, “I really don’t like the Lakers…I’m a Celtics fan.”
While the big stadiums of division one college football are obviously exciting to the young man, he admits it will be difficult to leave behind friends at Mission Viejo “it’s going to be tough when we all go our separate ways. My friends are my biggest passion and I’m going to miss hanging out with them very much.”
While the transition may be difficult there is no question that whether it’s at USC, Notre Dame, Washington, or Oregon this young man will have a significant impact in the classroom and on the university’s student body just as he has at Mission Viejo.
Special thanks to Ed & Marie Kaufer of Action Sports Photography (http://www.ocactionsports.com/)