Parkville senior Ian Sadon, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back-defensive end, transferred in August 2006 from Loch Raven after a fire forced his family to move. Although he knew many of the Parkville players, he struggled with the transition, especially after a successful and emotional sophomore season during which Loch Raven coach Mark Lehman's wife, Phyllis, died of cancer. Sadon also runs track and was part of a gold-medal-winning 1,600-meter relay team at the 2005 Class 2A state finals. He is working to boost a 2.5 grade point average that had been as high as 3.4 at Loch Raven. Aiming to play college football, he attended Michigan State's camp over the summer.
Which do you like better, offense or defense?
Offense. I believe that I'm a playmaker. I love scoring. I got the heart to run the ball and I think I'm more of a threat, too.
What was it like when you first got to Parkville?
I was kind of mad because Parkville was my rival. I was on Loch Raven for two years and I was looking forward to beating Parkville. Since that emotional season with Coach Lehman, I was really deep into Loch Raven, but once I started practicing [at Parkville], I knew I had to move on.
What was it like to play at Loch Raven last year?
When I stepped onto the field and saw the lights, that used to be home for me, I got really emotional. ... I was going against my boys. The funny thing about it was, every time I got hit, the players from Loch Raven were cracking little jokes: "Hey, I know you," "I remember you from somewhere." When we shook hands, I got a little teared up. I gave them all hugs and they said it was going to be OK.
What career are you thinking about going into?
I want to be a meteorologist. I took earth science my sophomore year and I got into it. It's real interesting how it's all like a puzzle piece and it all meshes together. I like The Weather Channel.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like spending time with my friends. I love movies. They come to my house, rent a movie, play video games. In October, we go to haunted houses. I'm a big roller coaster fan too. I'm a real big daredevil. One of these years, I plan on skydiving. Last [month], we went on a thing called the Kingda Ka, it's in New Jersey, Six Flags. It goes 128 miles per hour and I think it's the world's tallest roller coaster (45 stories). Tears were in my eyes when I got off.
Do you have a role model?
LaDainian Tomlinson, who plays for the San Diego Chargers. He's my role model because he's a very humble football player. He's not really cocky. He [does] his talking on the field by his performance. I read an article about him and I saw all these workouts he was doing, kind of crazy. They had a section in the article talking about how after he got done [with] his workout, he'd go home and start running on the stairs. He works real hard. I really like that. He doesn't try to get attention. He just lets it come to him.
As far as "Pacman" Jones, that's something I really don't understand. You get an opportunity to play in the NFL, they pay you a lot of money and you get yourself into trouble. To make mistakes like going to clubs and getting in trouble, that's pointless. As far as Michael Vick, it was very disappointing hearing about him. When you're an NFL star and you get Nike deals and all those endorsements, you've got a big bull's-eye on your back and you can't really make mistakes. You've really got to be careful what you do, think before you do something.
If you had one wish guaranteed to come true, what would you wish for?
If I had one wish, I'd wish that my mom [Starr Burton] would be happy for the rest of her life. She's a single parent and she's really worked hard. Sometimes, she [doesn't] think we appreciate what she does for us, but if it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't be where I'm at right now. And she worked on getting money, so I could go see my father for the first time. He lives on Reunion Island [in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar].
What was it like to see your dad for the first time recently?
When I finally met him ... he had the biggest smile on his face. Before then, my mom always told me when he'd go down to the village and meet all his buddies, he'd always have a picture out of me, saying, "That's my son." The thing on that trip that helped me as far as life, I really understand the other side of me. I got a goofy side and a daredevil side from my mom, but sometimes you see me real quiet and shy, and I get that from my father. When I got to know my father, I got to understand why I do some of the things I do.