SHS O-Line uses skills on field

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

Straughn’s offensive line is comprised of four juniors and one sophomore. The Tigers will face Fayette County tomorrow night in the semifinals. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

When Straughn offensive line coach Kenny Skipper saw a small bunch of middle school Tigers compete in a football game, he knew then that he was going to have a solid front seven just a few short years later.

The front five of this year’s squad include center Zack Riley, right guard Conner Livings, right tackle Ashton Mayhall, left guard Dalton Watson and left tackle Brady Page. The Tigers also use tight ends Beau Spivey and Austin Bozeman, along with Brock Watson who swaps in and out on occasion, Skipper said.

Throughout this season, Straughn’s front elite have helped pave the way for the Tigers’ offensive mid-line veer option attack.

Skipper said the main strength of this bunch is their “work ethic.”

“They want to do things the right way every time they set foot on the field,” he said. “They do that by the way they practice.”

It also helps that each player is smart and that three have more than 20 games of experience, the assistant coach said.

“They know what they’re doing,” Skipper said.

At the start of this season, Skipper had three returning starters on the offensive line.

When asked if he knew they would go on to have such a good season, Skipper said he had only hoped they would.

“Certainly, you’ve got three guys returning,” he said. “I hope they (the rest) kind of would catch on. We had some struggles early on in the year, which is usually the case most of the time. It was just normal stuff.

“They’ve really, really come along here in the last month and a half, six weeks,” he said. “They’re so close, not just good at playing football, but they’re good friends.”

While the season can be a long one for his players, Skipper said they’ve gotten better with each game.

“They are extremely strong. That’s just work ethic. Thaey work extremely hard at everything they do. I really don’t have to stay on them a whole lot about effort. They srtay on that. Their school work is the same way.”

Straughn’s O-line will face another test this week in the Class 3A semifinals against Fayette County.

Skipper said FCHS has good players on the defensive line.

“They mix it up,” Skipper said. “They’ve got some big, strong kids lining up. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”