Big men shine in lineman challenge at G-A
All five Franklin County football teams - Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Greencastle-Antrim, James Buchanan and Waynesboro - participated in the first-ever area Lineman Challenge, hosted by the Blue Devils, on Wednesday.
Skill players have plenty of opportunities to shine.
They are usually the ones touted as the heroes of a football game, and they typically get more attention.
Even during the offseason, there are seven-on-seven competitions featuring passing drills and offensive sets all over the place. But this season, the local Franklin County seven-on-seven added something that allowed the men in the trenches to have a moment of glory.
On Wednesday evening, Greencastle-Antrim hosted the area's first linemen challenge, featuring three different competitions designed to show off the linemen's skill set.
"I was really excited when our coach told us that we were having a lineman challenge," Waynesboro's Tucker Januchowski said. "All these skill players get their seven-on-sevens, and we don't get that, so it was nice to get a chance to show off what linemen do."
More than 40 players from seven teams, including all five Franklin County schools, participated. They started with a timed tire flip, followed by a sled drive and an individual obstacle course.
"Some of the other coaches talked to (G-A head coach) Chuck (Tinninis) and asked him about the linemen getting together once in awhile," Greencastle offensive and defensive line coach Jason Small said. "They never get to come out here Wednesday nights, so we had to get them involved."
Chambersburg's team of Kelton Chastulik, Myles Braxton and Brock Harmon won the tire flip. Sitting in fourth place out of four heading into the finals, the trio knocked out its tire flip in a mere 22.64 seconds for the victory,
"Football gets your adrenaline up; it's the only sport where you can hit without getting punished, so we were excited to go," Harmon said. "We had a good attitude, and we wanted to finish it and come out on top."
Waynesboro swept the last two competitions. The Indians won the sled drive in a swift 6.75 seconds, and Januchowski finished the obstacle course, complete with a bear crawl, agility drill and more, in just 12.91 seconds.
"Well, the first time I did it, I ran the part where we were supposed to shuffle, so I knew I had to do it better," Januchowski said. "I went back and shuffled it, and I actually got faster than what I did when I was running. My team was also really cheering me on, so that made me feel really good about myself."
As a whole, the Indians showed off their speed. They held five of the top eight times in the obstacle course.
According to Small, the Blue Devils will host a second lineman challenge on July 13, if enough interest is garnered. But with the success of the first one, that shouldn't be a problem.
"We were all really excited to compete," Harmon said. "Normally linemen don't get complimented that much because we're so big. But that's mostly where games are won are - in the trenches - so it was pretty great to get out here."