Editor’s Note: Offensive line is one of the most unheralded and underappreciated position groups in all of sports. There are no numbers to quantify the performance of the group and the only time the boys up front are recognized is when they’re penalized or make a mistake. Moving forward, Lootpress will identify one offensive line group every week based on their performance and recognize them as our “Offensive Line of the Week.”
Greenbrier West head football coach Toby Harris admitted before the season started that there were some concerns along the offesnive line for the Cavaliers.
Chief among those concerns was the fact that West had just one returning starter and individual size was going to be an issue.
So far, those issues have not been a problem.
Through the first four games of the season, the young men up front have paved the way for some huge numbers for West’s highly talented stable of backs.
Last week against Webster County, the Cavaliers tallied 473 total yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns in a contest that included a running second half clock and two eight minute quarters.
For their efforts Friday night, the Greenbrier West trench warriors have been named the inaugural Lootpress Offensive Line of the Week.
“It has been kind of surprising and we may run into a big outfit one of these days that is too big for us to handle, but so far we have played well,” Harris said about his boys up front.
For the season, the Cavaliers have ran the ball 148 times for 1,303 yards and 23 touchdowns.
The main benefactor of the play up front has been Ty Nickell who has accumulated 853 yards on 73 carriers and scored 13 touchdowns. Nickell has not played in the second half in the majority of the contests.
“We do a lot of different schemes. (Assistant) coach (Isac) Osborne does our offense and we have a new line coach in Steve Price. I tell you what, they do a great job,” Harris said. “We take advantage of whatever we get there. We run a lot of counters and plays to take advantage of us being smaller than everybody else.”
The starting five for Greenbrier West has been senior Reney Cordial, along with juniors Jacob Nutter, Jacob Whitt and Daron Vaughan. Freshman Logan Berry has handled the duties at the center position.
“Reney is the only starter that we have back and he has a little bit size. He is about 220 (pounds). All of the other guys are new (on offense). Our center has a little bit of size, but he is a ninth-grader,” Harris said. “Logan is 6-foot and weighs about 230 (pounds), but he is young. The other guys played on the defensive side (last year) and they are all small guys.”
Whitt, Vaughan and Nutter are all right at 180 pounds and are playing both ways this year for the Cavaliers.
“We are substituting a lot of kids on defense. We are running in 17 or 18 kids on defense and that is working really well,” Harris said. “When we give them a break, it on the defensive side of the ball. They are doing a real nice job in spite of their size.”
Harris stated before the season that he needed heavy leadership from Cordial with so much inexperience up front. The veteran coach has been extremely please with his senior captain.
“Since day one, Reney Cordial has been a big leader on our football team. He enjoys every day and not just games,” Harris said. “He enjoys every day of practice and he comes ready to play. He is a great kid and a great example for these younger guys to be out there with.”
Greenbrier West also has some depth up front and has received solid play from a trio of players.
“Ethan Hamons is a pretty good size kid and we run Cameron White in there along with Trent Parker,” Harris said. “Trent always played tight end or was a fullback type of guy. We needed some help on the line,so we moved him in there.”
While the numbers are staggering through the early portion of the season, Harris stated his team, and the guys up front, understand the road ahead is daunting.
“They have done a really good job. We are just taking it one ball game at a time,” Harris said. “We have some tough games on the bottom five of our schedule and they understand that. We are going to have to keep getting better each week.”
Greenbrier West hosts Meadow Bridge Friday night.