A Word With:
Last time we interviewed Mike Lowery, he wore number 34 for the Hanover Rhinos and played fullback. It was May 10th, 2017, just days ahead of a game where Lowery led the Rhinos in rushing against his former team.
Oh my, how things have changed.
Lowery is now wearing number 74 for Snacktown’s warriors, and wearing it with pride. A two-way lineman, Lowery’s biggest impact in 2018 was on the offensive line, where he spent time at all five positions. For his efforts, he was named Hanover Rhinos’ offensive player of the month for May 2018.
After briefly flirting with retirement this offseason, the invaluable 25-year-old decided to return for his age-26 season.
And, oh yeah, his birthday is this Thursday.
GM: What did it mean to you to be named offensive player of the month for May?
ML: It was honestly really humbling that my teammates would vote for me in that manner, the reason being is because lineman don’t usually get any sort of recognition, so to see that my teammates would vote for me meant the world to me.
GM: You bounced around to different positions during your first two years with the Rhinos. Then, last year you moved around on the line seemingly every week. How tough is it to play all the different line positions in one season?
ML: I was told by my high school coach, the more you know how to do, the better asset you will be to your coaches and teammates, so when I was in high school, I would always practice at all five line positions during camp and practices just because you never know when you’re going to be called upon to move around. Plus, I looked at it as an opportunity to get on the field in any way I can based on how many different things I know how to do.
GM: How long before a game would you be told what position you were playing by Rhinos’ head coach Noah Sneeringer?
ML: It honestly depended. Usually, I would just find out before the first whistle blew.
GM: And how difficult is that, not knowing where you’re going to play until game day?
ML: It wasn’t difficult at all. I knew I was going to play somewhere, I just didn’t know where at. So it never bothered me.
GM: Which position do you think you excelled the most at in 2018?
ML: I expect to see a lot of guard work, but I’ll be happy anywhere they put me. It’s my job to excel at where they put me.
GM: You really turned heads from day one in training camp last season. What do you attribute your growth as a player to?
ML: My best friend from high school, Brandon, told me during lunch one time during senior year, “Michael, you’re a strong and physical kid, but you must remember that football is 90% mental and 10% physical, it’s a big chess match”, and after he said that to me, the one thing that has allowed me to be constant and consistent as a player in general is reading my opponents that line up across from me, and knowing what they’re good at and what they’re bad at, and being able to use their weaknesses against them. I’ve been able to adapt to use certain blocking techniques based on who I’m going up against and the method they want to use while rushing me.
GM: How did you go from being just one of the guys in 2017 to being one of the most valuable players on the team?
ML: It feels amazing, but it also hasn’t changed who I am as a person.
GM: And who is Mike Lowery, the person?
ML: That’s honestly a hard question for me to answer because I can say so many different things, but I guess if I had to say something quick, I would say I’m a person with a big heart and would like to think he is respected by his teammates and peers. Someone who shows up to work and gives it everything he has on that field, win, lose, or draw.
GM: So, we have to get into the personal life a little bit. What was the offseason like for you this summer?
ML: Haven’t thought a whole lot about football to be honest. I used most of my summer to relax and enjoy life outside of football, but when fall rolls around, it’s nothing but business for me.
GM: Did you go on any interesting trips?
ML: I finally went to South Carolina this past summer for a weekend to see my dad. It was a lot of fun since I only get to see him maybe twice, sometimes once a year. Other than that, I just used vacation time so I can sit around the house in my underwear and drinking beer, playing video games, just relaxing and not worrying about having to go to work.
GM: What video games are your favorite?
ML: Well, lately I’ve been into playing games I liked when I was 5-6 years old, like the original Mario Party for the N64, to name one. I’m also a huge Red Dead Redemption 2 fan.
GM: You have an old N64?
ML: Yes sir.
GM: Who do you play as on Mario?
ML: Usually Wario, because I loved the purple and yellow as a kid, plus everyone liked Mario. I usually tend to like the character no one else does.
GM: Alright, well go have some fun playing with the little purple and yellow anti-hero, and we’ll all see you on Saturday in Santa Bowl VII vs. the Franklin County Tigers (12:55 PM on Rhino Charge TV).
Remember fans, Santa Bowl VII will take place at the ‘Home of the Rhinos’, Manheim Adventure Park in Glenville, Pa. Gates open at 11 AM, with admission being a $5 donation to Toys For Tots, or one new unwrapped toy. We hope to see you there!