By now, few people who follow high school football are unfamiliar with 7 on 7 camps and competitions, which is an all passing game without the linemen.
Knowledgeable fans also know without a good offensive line, even the best quarterbacks, running backs and receivers are greatly minimized.
So it is noteworthy that nine linemen from Darien High School’s football team won the sixth annual Linemen Challenge, held in Berlin this past Saturday. This is the first time Darien sent a team to the event, which consisted of 32 teams competing in eight challenging physical tests, which included sled, tire flip and the grueling ‘move the mountain’ relays, as well as a truck push and tug of war. Darien not only won the overall competition but also placed in the top three in all but one event.
“We are really proud of the effort,” said Darien Coach Rob Trifone. “Our boys put in a lot and it shows all the hard work they’ve done off the field.”
The team consisted of captains George Reed and Jack Tyrell, as well as Sam Bowtell, Jack Griffiths, Ryan Murray, Spencer Stovall, Mark Evanchick, Jimmy Degnan and Andrew Steuber.
“Each event requires a full six-man team effort,” said offensive line Coach Tom O’Neill. “So this victory is a testament to our unity and depth up front.”
All of the team members agreed that the trophy really belonged to John Carlozzi, the team’s head trainer, for his inspiring leadership in the weight room.
Darien has received much offseason hype in the FCIAC as a contender this fall, in part because of the expected play of its offensive and defensive lines. While this competition may be not be any more predictive of the future as 7 on 7, it certainly was a nice accomplishment.