For the Mansfield family, Friday night’s Clearfield-Davis football game was a very special, unique experience.
After all, how often do grandparents — in this case, Dennis and Sharyol Mansfield of Roy — get to sit back and watch (or stand up and shout) as two of their grandsons, both senior starters for their respective high school teams, play against each other in a varsity league game?
Not very often, I’m sure.
But that’s precisely what took place Friday night at Kaysville, where longtime Davis County rivals Clearfield and Davis squared off for their Region 1 opener with two of Dennis and Sharyol’s grandsons, Jaxon and Zack, each playing prominent roles.
Jaxon Mansfield, the son of Trent and Alisa Mansfield of Syracuse, is Clearfield High’s starting quarterback and also starts at safety for the Falcons. His cousin Zack Mansfield, the son of Dr. Justin and Alicia Mansfield of Farmington, is a starting wide receiver and also serves as a kick return specialist for Davis High.
So there they were, out on the field together, two cousins who have grown up together and have a very close relationship. And up in the stands, close to 30 members of the extended Mansfield family in all, including six of Dennis and Sharyol’s daughters, along with some of their spouses and many of their kids, were there to cheer on both of the young men who were each trying to help their team earn a victory.
Many of them had their faces painted — half in Clearfield green, the other half in Davis gold — with the two players’ uniform numbers (2 for Jaxon, 21 for Zack) painted on their faces as well. One son-in-law even painted his beard both colors, and family members held signs that said “Go Zack” and “Go Jaxon” and “Team Mansfield.”
For the record, the Falcons came away with a 20-0 victory over the Darts, the first time Clearfield has beaten its neighbors to the south since 2007.
But on this night, football took a back seat to family and the love and support that they feel for each other.
And the Mansfield family soaked it all in.
“I didn’t think it was tough to watch that game,” Sharyol said. “You see these two young men and, yes, they both want to win and they’ve been given strong minds and strong bodies to take advantage of the opportunity to play the game that they love. And they go out on the field to win, they both do.