Offensive linemen have traditionally gone by the nickname, “big uglies,” but the Warren County High School offensive linemen decided to buck the trend this year.
The Pioneer offensive linemen decided to embrace the acronym HOGS, standing for the hardcore offensive ground support. The “Hogs” have already been putting in work this offseason.
The Pioneer offensive line won the Knights McDonald’s Linemen Challenge held at John Paul II High School Tuesday.
Going against 11 other teams, the Pioneers took top honors while competing in 13 different challenges, including team bench press, agility drills, pulling a fire engine and a tug of war.
Warren County took 12 members to the challenge, but were without senior starters Logan Wanamaker and Gilley Ortiz. Even without the two big men, the Pioneers were able to beat a field which included Smyrna, LaVergne, Monterey, Greenbrier, Franklin County, John Paul II, Ezell Harding, Jackson County and White County.
The Pioneers took first place in many of the agility drills, including the five-person shuttle, obstacle course and broad jump. Warren County was also the fastest pulling the fire engine, something senior Drew Davidson took great pride in afterwards.
“We would’ve set the record in the competition, but we all turned around at the same time and slowed down because we thought we were done,” said Davidson. “I’m pretty sure they had the fire engine in reverse while we were pulling too, but it didn’t matter.”
The Pioneer group at John Paul II was senior-laden with veteran linemen like Davidson, Cameron Lusk, Zack Stanley, Hunter Coppinger, Tucker Slatton, Ethan Turner and Christian Taylor. Other Pioneers making the trip were Tristan Reish, Chayse Frye, Dylan George, Jarrett Winfrey and Bryson Cope.
Despite lacking the girth of several other squads, the Pioneers still held their own in several events catering to overall strength. The Pioneers placed second in the bench-press challenge, which featured five players trying to rep 225 pounds as many times as they could. The Pioneers also reached the semifinals in the team tug of war that concluded the event.
The Pioneers received a trophy following the event, one coach Tommy Johnson thought was very deserved after his team’s total effort. Johnson hopes to keep the winning ways going into the fall.
“I think we’re seeing the guys starting to buy into what we’re doing and the culture is changing,” said Johnson. “The guys went into the event expecting to win and that’s exactly what they did.”
Warren County will continue to do individual challenges throughout July, including the team’s skill players competing in 7-on-7 games. The Pioneers will be in action Monday in Marshall County for a 7-on-7 game. The contest is set to start at 5 p.m. The Warren County freshman team and junior varsity squad will travel to Coffee County Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game.