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12 years ago
Men in the Trenches

Editor’s note: Tyson Hayes is a senior at Annville-Cleona High School and a quarterback on the Little Dutchman football team. This piece originally appeared in A-C’s Dutchmen Crier on Oct. 17, 2011. It was reprinted with permission.

By Tyson Hayes

 Blood, yelling, pounding each other into the dirt for 48 minutes. That describes what offensive and defensive linemen have to do.
 Why do these men go and do this every day of the week? It can’t be because of the glory they receive.
 When is the last time you read in the newspaper that an offensive lineman had a great pancake block to free the running back to the end zone? All you read in the paper is the running back’s name and how amazing his run was. One never hears how the quarterback had a lot of time to throw the ball, only how many yards the quarterback threw.
 So what makes an offensive lineman do what he does? I sat down with a couple of offensive linemen here at A-C to figure out this million-dollar question, and to give them the respect and appreciation for what they do.
 Senior Tyler Eckenrode was first to point out how being a lineman gives players contact on every play. “I love hitting people and getting hit,” he said.
 When I asked him about if he ever was jealous seeing running backs get all the credit in the newspaper, he answered, “No I have no jealousies when it comes to that because I know I did my job when the running backs are running free.”
 Junior tight end Tanner Fitting explained: “The reason I love being in the middle of the line is because of the kind of heart and passion for the game it takes. I like being with lineman, because the unity it takes. We always are talking to each other for line calls. We also take great pride in keeping our quarterback clean.”
 I then sat down with running back Freddy Hess, who wanted to give thanks to his linemen. “I just want to say how much I appreciate what they do,” he said. “The pain and punishment they put on their body, for me to be able to run is really appreciate. They do really never get enough thanks.”
 How are the linemen successful in this position? They all say it’s the practice time they put in.
 In a typical week, they hit Monday through Wednesday. During practice when I look over, they are constantly hitting and are always rolling through the mud. So a lineman’s jobs may not always sound the best, but they love doing what they do.

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