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Hart getting a fresh start on both lines

With no returners on the offensive and defensive front Indians will have a new look in 2009

Posted: August 21, 2009 9:46 p.m.
Updated: August 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart varsity football head coach Mike Herrington watches his players as they run up and down the field during practice Wednesday. The Indians are coming off a third place finish in the Foothill League.

 
It has commonly been said that success on the football field begins with the men up front.

Whether protecting or applying pressure, the offensive and defensive line must be engaged every second of every play.

The job can be thankless.

For Hart, the job is still up for grabs — all of them in fact.

Why?

Because there has been a complete turnover of starting linemen from 2008 to 2009 on both sides of the football.

“We returned no (starting) offensive linemen and we returned no (starting) defensive linemen,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “We had one kid play a little bit — and that was just a little bit — on the defensive line, but that’s it. That is our big concern.

“We are still trying to work things out,” he added. “The offensive line is getting much better, but the defensive line, we are still trying to find the right combination.”

Eleven total linemen from the current roster were on  the team in 2008.

Returning or new to the varsity ranks, no one’s job is secure as the coaches continue their evaluations.

“I don’t want to mention any names right now, but a couple of kids have come through and started really picking it up,” said Herrington, who is entering his 21st year as the head coach of the program. “We are really pleased.”

In total, there are currently 27 players on the roster listed as an offensive lineman, defensive lineman or both.

Of those, 15 are seniors, 10 are juniors and two are sophomores.

And with an inexperienced group of guys, Herrington said it is important to quickly get everyone acclimated to varsity speed.

“Sometimes it’s like — I don’t want to say two steps forward, one step back — it’s like three steps forward and then one step back with these guys because it is so new,” he said.

Therefore, an element of mystery remains with this year’s Hart team as the effectiveness of the line has yet to be determined.

But Herrington said his players are progressing.

“A lot of it is still foreign to these guys because they haven’t experienced the thing,” he said. “They’ve played line on JV, but now when you get up to this level there is a lot more thrown at you. You have to react a lot faster and recognize things a lot quicker. That is what they have to get used to and we are getting there.”

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