York, PA - He can be anywhere on the football field, it seems, at any given moment.
He's a wide receiver.
He's a running back.
He returns kicks.
He plays safety.
Heck, he even punts and kicks off.
Mike Felton does it all. He's the football-playing version of a Swiss-Army knife. Perhaps no YAIAA player fills so many roles, so well, as South Western's 5-foot-11, senior dynamo.
One minute, he's a speedy offensive threat, a burner constantly on the brink of a big play. The next he's a field-roaming safety, capable of turning a game with a big hit or an interception. (Felton will play safety at Temple University, where he committed in June.)
Heading into this season, Felton represents the biggest chip in the stack of a South Western team looking to reverse course from last fall's 4-6 campaign.
"I like it a lot," Felton said of his do-it-all role. "I don't like kicking field goals that much and kicking off. But I'll go wherever my team needs me."
Of course, being everywhere at once burns up quite a bit of energy. Between his myriad duties, Felton was on the field for nearly every single play of every single game last season. (Felton hinted he could get a break on kickoffs this season. "So I can get a little squirt of water," he said.)
On offense, he split time between receiver and running back, averaging a total of 8.1 yards per touch and scoring 14 of the team's 31 touchdowns. You can expect more of the same this season.
"Truthfully," Mustangs coach Don Seidenstricker said, "I see him as a running back. I see him as a No. 1 wide receiver. I see him as a No. 2 wide. You may even see him at (No. 3 wide) depending on what kind of matchups we can get."
The coach continued.
"You might see us in the pistol, and you might see the quarterback motion off and him take a direct snap. Seriously. I'm not BS-ing you."
Next thing you know, Felton might start playing center.
And if all that seems hard to keep track of, imagine what it's like for opposing coaches.
"He's scary," West York coach Ron Miller said.
"I think he's one of the best players in District 3," Spring Grove coach Russ Stoner added.
He appears primed, it seems, for a big season. South Western needs one from him.
Yet somehow, Mike Felton's job description this season doesn't simply begin and end with big plays and big numbers.
After last fall's struggles, Seidenstricker placed a renewed focus on team leadership. He and his coaches evaluated each of the team's 26 returning seniors based on a 30-point scale that included six criteria -- three mental, three physical. Seidenstricker held individual meetings with each senior, in which he informed them of their score and discussed how to move forward.
Based on those grades, Seidenstricker picked two captains: Felton and senior lineman Ryan Sexton.
"That's the one thing that's overlooked with Mike," Seidenstricker said. "Yeah, he's got a lot of talent. But he's a hard-working, committed, dedicated kid. ... He's really become a very mature football player."
Receiver. Running back. Safety. Special teams ace. And now captain.
One more role for the player who can't seem to get enough of them.
John Clayton is a prep sports reporter for the Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach him at 771-2045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.