Working in the trenches: in-depth with the freshmen linemen

The linemen at work in game warm-ups before the Holland Christian game

When the average football fan watches a football game, most of the time they are watching the skill positions, such as the quarterback or the wide receivers.  Unless somebody on the D-line has a tackle for loss or an offensive lineman is called for holding, these guys in the trenches go largely unnoticed, but some could argue the battle down there is the most important part of the game.

“It’s extremely important,” Coach Jared Randall said. ” If the line isn’t clicking, it’s very difficult for anything, offensively or defensively to be firing on all cylinders.”

Those same thoughts were echoed by Head Coach Mark Behnke.

“If you lose at the line of scrimmage, you lose the game,” he added.

The linemen groups, especially the D-line, played a big part in last week’s victory over Holland Christian.

” We only ran a handful of blitzes, because we had faith in the front four that they would create some pressure,” Coach Randall said.

So during the course of this week, I got a chance to talk with the four starting defensive linemen and a starter on the offensive line, Matt Field, Cody Maatman, Nathan Slagh, Jacob Charron, and Ben Klein. We talked about last week’s game, how they feel about their position groups, and why they enjoy playing the line.

T’Hawk: The Holland Christian game was a good showing from both sides of the ball. ¬†What was the key to creating pressure?

DT Cody Maatman: “We did nothing special, we tried hard and didn’t give up and we just kept going after them.”

DT Nathan Slagh: ” We played hard, and we used good technique to get to the pocket.”

T’Hawk: How do you feel about yourselves as a team, from a position standpoint?

LT Ben Klein: ” I think we do a very good job, but there’s always room for improvement, and I also think we have a very good working chemistry.

DT Nathan Slagh: ” I think we’re good, we have some fast defensive ends to get the edge, and big defensive tackles to clog the middle.’

T’Hawk: Matt Field and Jacob Charron, along with playing D-end, also are running backs, which is kind of uncommon for somebody to play both of those positions. Does it give you an advantage when your playing defense?

DE Matt Field: ” Being a running back, it gives me an idea of where the run is supposed to be or when he’s going to look for the cut-back lane.”

DE Jacob Charron: ” I have a little bit of an idea of where the back is supposed to be.”

T’Hawk: For the last question, what’s your favorite part about being on the line?

DT Cody Maatman: ” It’s fun to hit people.”

DE Jacob Charron: ” Sacking the quarterback.”

DE Matt Field: ” Knowing I can cause chaos.”


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