Improving On Their Craft

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

ALEM, Ore.–  The art of being a lineman is unique.  You have to always be working on your craft.  Footwork, hand-placement, coming off the ball, etc. all the little things that would make things work come gameday to make the play happen or disrupt it.

On Sunday afternoon at McKay High School, while the IBC was hosting their 7-on-7 State Championships, the organization was also hosting a 5-on-5 lineman challenge.  The middle schoolers went in the morning session of the challenge while the High Schoolers went to work during the noon-2pm block on the Fall-like day.

It was one-versus-one, but everyone lined-up as if they were going live.  Everyone taking three-reps on offense and defense.  Offense needing to keep the defender off the QB for four seconds, defense to get by the Tackle, Guard or Center to win.  Win the match-up, you give your team two-points.

“This is helping so much.  Just the extra reps you’d need because of the Covid-year, you just need more reps.  So this is helping me a lot getting me ready for Senior Year,” said David Sherman, who got reps in at defensive-end Sunday.  “Just getting better with moves, you can always get better with moves.  It’s just one-or-two killer moves that will work will help out a ton

Sherman and Sprague teammate Bryson Kievit were just two of the kids involved with IBC’s battle with Grid-Iron from Tacoma, Washington.  IBC won the final match-up of the day 54-38 as the linemen wrapped up for the day.

With the middle school skills position going on around them, the High School lineman put in the work with some trench work in preparation of this upcoming Fall (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For Kievit, who recently committed to Eastern Washington University, it gave him an opportunity to work on his offensive set work going into college and get some football work outside of the strength-and-conditioning side of things. Showcasing his athleticism at defensive Tackle and at Offensive Tackle while working on technique on both sides of the ball.

“The biggest thing was I was proving myself as a defensive player, but I was getting more looks on offense, so getting back into the offensive groove.  Getting the offensive mindset, getting my technique down before I go up to EWU, compete and get that starting spot,” said Kievit.  “It helps getting this competition reps in.  Getting back into my groove, getting back into my sets.  It’s great competition to get out here and work with these guys.  IBC guys, GridIron, all great guys.  Great competition.”

It was just another day to get better and another day to compete in the trenches to improve upon the craft for the season coming up in just a few months.

The PolySquad Avengers won the High School Division of the 5-on-5 State Championship as well as the Middle School division. In the 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament, the IBC Lights Out won the 3/4th Grade Division, EForce Futures Red won the 5/6th grade Division and the IBC Category 5 squad won the 7/8th Grade Division.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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