Up to the Challenge

SSHS linemen qualify for state competition

From Staff Reports

May 19, 2008 - GARLAND - Sulphur Springs football linemen got their day in the sun on Saturday.

SSHS took two groups to Garland on Saturday to compete in Lakeview Centennial's Linemen Challenge, and the varsity team took second place overall and qualified for the state competition as the top 4A school in the event.

The Linemen Challenge is a strong man competition of sorts, with nine different events, including bench press, tire flip, truck push, obstacle course, tug-o-war, farmers walk, stone stacker, tire pull and harness pull. The state competition is set for July 11-12 in Austin.

The Wildcats were the top team in Class 4A in every event except the truck push, in which they were second. In the overall competition among 26 teams, SSHS won the tug-of-war and tire flip, and was third in the harness pull and tire pull.

"It was a good experience for our kids, and a great chance for them to go over and compete against other schools' linemen and see how they stack up against those guys," said SSHS coach Martin Bryant. "At the same time, as a group we were really successful."

The varsity team was composed of Mason Y'Barbo, Beau Carpenter, Jake Russell, Colton Nash, Tadarious Johnson, Alex Peek, Dallon Sant and Derek Hanson.

Receivers, quarterbacks, running backs and defensive backs compete in 7-on-7 in the summer to sharpen their skills. The Linemen Challenge is a way for the guys in the trenches to compete against other schools, Bryant pointed out.

"They've really just been competing with each other in the weight room and in the different things we're going in offseason up to this point," he said. "It was a good chance for them to see how much they've improved from football season until now.

"It was almost like they took turns on who was going to be the best on our team in any event. When you put them all together, that's what makes us successful."

The Wildcats hope to host a Linemen Challenge of their own Saturday morning at the James Cameron Practice Fields, but it may have to be canceled if more teams don't sign up this week.

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