Augusta Christian Schools football coach Bruce Lane calls them unsung heroes, but Adam McKinney doesn't mind singing their praises.
"They've done a great job," McKinney said of teammates Freddrick Griffin, Chap Cooper, Daniel Whinghter and Sam Pitts.
As a quarterback and defensive back for AC, McKinney has had a bird's-eye view of the four senior standouts.
"Sam is just unbelievable. He's an all-state lineman, and I don't think there's anybody that can stay with him. Fred's played like a veteran, Daniel's really a smart player, and Chad has come into his own this season," McKinney said.
Lane agrees with that assessment of the foursome that anchors AC's line play.
Augusta Christian's Chad Cooper, from left, Daniel Whinghter, Sam Pitts and Freddrick Griffin
Photo by Chris Thelen
"They deserve a lot of credit for our success," Lane said. "They are hard workers in the weight room, and they labor in anonymity a lot of the time. The casual observer might not notice what they do, but the coaching staff does."
Cooper and Pitts are two-way starters, while Whinghter and Griffin primarily play on the offensive line.
Fans might not cheer for the linemen toiling in the trenches, but the unsung heroes are content to set the stage for victory.
"We focus on just being smart and playing hard on every down," Pitts said. "You never know when the block you're making is going to spring a big play."
AC's offense has posted points at a torrid pace, and the unsung heroes have played a big part in the scoring binge.
"If the offensive line doesn't open the holes, nobody can run the ball," Griffin said. "I take pride in busting the hole open so our running backs can get through. Everybody has to do their job for things to run smoothly."
Cooper agrees that the linemen are more than unsung heroes - they are the football enforcers.
"We believe that the offensive and defensive lines control the tempo of the game," Cooper said. "The team that comes out and dominates on the line is going to be victorious. It takes endurance, being able to outlast an opponent, and that just goes back to all the hard work we've put in."
Muscle isn't always enough, though. At that point, it's time to get mean.
"Sometimes strength is the key, but you have to know how to beat an opponent that's bigger than you are," Whinghter said. "We have to get down and dirty. We've faced some stronger players, but mostly, we've been dominant."
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