Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

July 2, 2013

GC Football: Top of the line

TEAGUE — No one is quite sure just what being the best at the powe-ball push and the dumbbell medley will mean on Friday nights, but the kids at Corsicana High hope it all translates into something special this fall when the football season begins.

“All I know is I’m walking out of here with a smile on my face,’’ said Darryl White, who was part of the team from Corsicana High that won the Lineman Challenge in the Teague summer league. “I love to win.’’

While the quarterbacks and receivers and defensive backs were on the football field for a month-long season of 7-on-7 football in the Teague summer league, the linemen were competing in strength and agility drills such as the dumbbell medley (racing back and forth carrying a series of five different weighted dumbbells) and pushing a huge powerball that weghed about 700 pounds. There was even an obstacle course.

Corsicana ran away with first place in the eight-team league.

“I’m real proud of them,’’ Corsicana offensive line coach John Griggs said. “I thought it was great. Our kids really competed.’’

There was a weekly competition, and Corsicana won four of the five weeks.

“There were two weeks when we went into the final event one point behind Waco, and we won it,’’ said Griggs, whose team won the overall competition easily.

It was just another way to push the kids — and the kids pushed themselves — to get ready for the upcoming season.

“We got stronger,’’ said Donovan Hailey, a 6-0, 230-pound defensive end who was on the team. “We improved (during the month of competition). It’s an indication of the skills we have, and it helped prepare us for the season.

‘We knew the guys we took (to the linemen challenge) all knew how to compete, and this was another way for us to compete and win.’’

Hailey, a rising senior, will be one of the keys on Corsicana’s defensive line. Griggs said he expects a big year from the Tiger linemen, especially on the offensive line, where Chris Jones returns at center.

Jones, a rising senior was one of the leaders of the team that won the  lineman challenge, and he will be an even bigger factor this fall. Jones will be a three-year starter. He started 15 games as a sophomore when Corsicana reached the state semifinals, and he started every game last year.

“He’s the anchor,’’ Griggs said. “I think we’re going to be pretty strong. We’re going to have three first-time starters and we have a handful of guys fighting for those spots. I have confidence in every one of them. It’s going to be interesting when two-a-days get here.’’

Griggs believes with all of the competition for the starting spots on the offensive line that the Tigers will not only be talented up front, but they will have depth.

Corsicana quarterback Devontay Bell said he has no doubt the offensive line will be strong this season.

We have always had great offensive lines,’’ Bell said. “And this offensive line will be on of the best. I think this year’s line will be as good or better than the line we had when we went to the state semifinals two years ago.’’

“I hope so,’’ said coach Steve Hoffman, who was hired as the head coach in April. “Thay’ve got a chance to be pretty good. And we’re playing to the strength of our offensive line. Everything starts up front.’’

Hoffman saw what his kids did in the lineman challenge, and he coulddn’t have been happier.

“It shows how competitive they are,’’ he said. “As a coach you love to see that. They really work hard.’’

It was no accident that Corsicana won it.

“It was the first lineman challenge we did so I had butterflies,’’ said David Ruiz, a rising senior who plays on both sides of the line as a guard and defensive tackle. “But we wanted to win it. It meant a lot. It gave us satisfaction and bragging rights.’’

 

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