Originally created 10/15/02

High on the hogs

Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick can talk about their technique and he can discuss the holes they open for the offense, but he those topics are never broached.

When he speaks about his offensive lineman, one quick comment says it all.

"They're just a bunch of hogs," he said.

He means it in the kindest way possible. And it's exactly what the linemen see when they look in the mirror.

"We eat like hogs," junior right tackle Rashad Dunn said. "We look like hogs. I'm proud to say I'm a hog."

His counterparts - who, with the exception of Dunn, are all seniors - agree. But don't underestimate their importance.

"The offense plays as well as the offensive line lets it," senior right guard Scott Henchel said. "The way we play is the way the team plays as a whole."

That, however, doesn't mean they're pretty or flashy or photogenic. Instead, all Dunn, Henchel, his twin brother, Curtis, center Eric Wagner and right tackle Kyle Lawton want is to make everybody else look good.

It's the credo of most offensive lineman: Put the attention on the running backs and quarterbacks and let us do our jobs.

"If I went back into assistant coaching, I'd want to coach the offensive line," Derrick said. "They're out there because they love it, because they won't see their names in the paper on Saturday morning. They get out there and root and fight."

So far, the offensive line has led Greenbrier to a 4-2 (3-1 Region 3-AAAA) record and a shot at making its first playoff appearance since 1998.

Sophomore running back Orlando Pollard has rushed 130 times for 620 yards and four touchdowns, while quarterbacks Brooks Robinson and Cam Griffin have combined to complete 40-of-84 passes for 457 yards.

The offensive linemen are a big reason why those statistics are impressive. And they do it anonymously.

"It takes someone with a lot of heart and commitment," Henchel said. "You have to endure the constant aggressiveness. You can't let up. Where else can you be mean and tough and not get in trouble for it?"

Dunn puts it more succinctly.

"You have to be mean," he said. "Real mean."

Strength also helps. This season, the Henchel brothers were the only two to join Greenbrier's 1,000-pound club by squatting, bench pressing and power cleaning a combined half-ton.

But that's not necessarily what makes the Wolfpack offensive line successful. Instead, these linemen genuinely enjoy their jobs, even if they don't get to hog the spotlight.

"You get to get down and dirty in this job," Dunn said. "You have to love it."

Left tackle-Curtis Henchel/Sr./

Left guard-Rashad Dunn/Jr.

Center-Eric Wagner/Sr./

Right guard-Scott Henchel/Sr./

Right tackle-Kyle Lawton/Sr.

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.


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