Tune in to the GameTimePA.com snapchat on Friday, Nov. 18 as Shippensburg center Nick Kubala has full control right before the team takes on Bishop McDevitt in the District 3 Class 4A semifinal. Video by Lindsey Smith
Standing in arguably one of the most overlooked positions in football, Shippensburg center Nick Kubala has seen it all.
Three years, two quarterbacks, a Mid Penn Colonial division championship, and with a little luck - he'll have a chance to play for a district title.
And although his stat card doesn't reflect it, Kubala's place on the offensive line is a major key to the Greyhounds' success this fall - the kind of success that breeds a 1,100-yard rusher, a 1,200-yard receiver and a quarterback with nearly 2,000 passing yards.
But those impressive numbers would not be possible without the five veterans stacked on the offensive line. Kyle Yost, Collin Dolbin, Ethan Davidson and Christian Boarts, along with Kubala at center, plow the way for Carter Van Scyoc, Cody Gustafson, Adam Houser, Phillip Torres and a host of other Greyhounds to find their way down the field.
"Our job is to make sure everything is going well, and the fact is, we are able to do that because of those position players," Kubala said. "Carter and Cody and Adam are all fantastic athletes and it really helps that they put up the numbers that help us look good."
"They take great pride in coming out here and working hard every day and they are overlooked when you look at it," Shippensburg coach Eric Foust said. "A 1,000 yard rusher, 1,100 yard receiver and a 2,000 yard quarterback - but no one really realizes why that all happens. A lot of that happens because of our O-line."
In his three years as a starter, Kubala has been up against numerous defenses, called countless plays, and seamlessly transitioned between two top quarterbacks.
Tyler Gustafson and Carter Van Scyoc are two totally different players under center. Although both are extremely successful in their own right, the change could have posed a difficult challenge for the offensive line, but Kubala said the chemistry between the line and Van Scyoc made it an easy switch.
"(Kubala) makes all of our line calls, and he's gone through two quarterbacks doing that, which makes it a little bit more impressive," Foust said. "Both quarterbacks are different and he's handled it really well for all three years and it's been really fun to watch."
And although his position has remained the same, Kubala has put the work in to continue to improve, stating that his work in the weight room has allowed him to bulk up 20 pounds per year. But Kubala's stocky build isn't the only requirement to be successful at center - he also needs to be a quick study.
Kubala is also responsible for making line calls for blocking, which he says is a lot of pressure, but a responsibility he enjoys.
"The main thing is I have to make sure all of the calls are right, and if I mess up a call that could really effect the play," Kubala said. "And since I've been doing it we really rely on each other to help with the calls."
"For us there is a lot that he has to identify where our point of attack is and the blocking scheme, and he really understands it," Foust said. "The one thing about Nick is that he really comes to compete. He knows what he needs to do and when he makes a mistake he knows it and he's disappointed, but he handles that really well."