Athlete of the Week: Moore Haven offensive line

Offensive linemen are often the unsung heroes of an good offense. While the majority of the attention and acclaim go to the quarterbacks and running backs who put up big yards week after week, a lot of it wouldn’t be possible without a great offensive line.

That’s why this week’s Big Lake Athletes of the Week are the Moore Haven Terriers offensive line for their part in putting up over 430 rushing yards against Mulberry on Oct. 19. The Terriers would go on to win that game 44-15.

Justin Sexton, Connor Thomas, Robert Harris, Jermiah Williams, Andrew Fish, Oniel Satchwell and Eebonik Simmons all played a crucial role in not only Moore Haven’s win over Mulberry, but the Terriers’ success all year.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
The Moore Haven offensive line has been crucial in the Terriers’ 6-1 run so far this year.

Head coach Max Manin says that the Terrier running backs are very aware of all the work the offensive line does for them.
“No one understands how important those linemen are more than our own running backs,” said Manin.

“It’s one of those things that the casual fan is just going to see the running back, but our players really recognize how important that line is. We praise them all the time because it’s a tough position because your name is never called. If you’re on the defensive line and you make a tackle your name is called.

The offensive line is about the only position where your name isn’t called out on a big play.”

Ever since making the switch to a wildcat offense when starting quarterback L.J. Sampson injured his throwing hand early in the season, the Terriers have been able to put up big rushing yards against opposing defenses. The offensive line has been crucial in that stretch, dominating the line of scrimmage and imposing their will on their opponent.

The Terriers are now on a five-win streak and were very close to being undefeated if not for a missed extra point against Neumann in overtime on Sept. 14. The 2018 season has been an impressive encore from a team just coming off their school’s first undefeated season in 2017, as well as the school’s first home playoff win.

If the Terriers are going to secure another home playoff game and make another run for the championship this year, they’re going to do it on the backs of their talented offensive linemen.

Moore Haven has two more games remaining in the regular season — a district game against First Baptist Academy on Oct. 25 and a big test against the 6-2 LaBelle squad on Nov. 2 at Moore Haven.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email Lake Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at rmarion@newszap.com.

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