Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Skill position? All of them are

It irritates me, and is insulting, when the term “skill position” is used in football. The phrase is common for players who throw, catch and run with the ball. It doesn’t include linemen, and that’s just not right.

You can’t convince me there isn’t “skill” involved with moving an onrushing lineman so a running back can zip through the hole. Or how about pass blocking for about four seconds? Or correctly timing a trap block, or a sweep?

No team can win consistently without good linemen. Plenty of good, skilled linemen. ...

Three Independence junior-varsity football players sprinted around mobile classroom 63 to reach opening day of practice Monday morning.

Player No. 1, at 8:25 a.m.: “Oh good, it was 8:30. We’re not late. I thought it was 8. They’re lined up by the fence.”

Player No. 2, to Player No. 3: “Are you a receiver?”

Player No. 3: “Receiver? I’m wearing (jersey) 94, what’s that tell you?”

Gotta love the new guys. ...

Kit Sitterley, who lives in Mooresville and attends Culver (Ind.) Academy, was named to the U.S. 17-under national hockey team. The U.S. team will play a tournament Aug. 20-24 in the Czech Republic against Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland and the host Czechs. ...

The golf-course green turf at Butler’s football practice fields is as thick as the humid air. Even carts driven by equipment managers don’t dent the grass. A sign near the water fountain reads “Dream Zone. Work At It." ...

Concord Robinson senior tackle R.J. Mattes is one of the state’s top linemen. Mattes, 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, has narrowed his college choices to South Carolina, Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia and North Carolina.

His father, Ron Mattes (6-6, 300) played seven NFL seasons (1986-92) as an offensive tackle with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.

- Cliff Mehrtens

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