Unspoken Heroes

PCM’s football team is the best team in Class 2A this year, along with being number one in offense. They’ve scored a combined 443 points through the regular season. One of the main reasons is because of the skill players which would include guys like seniors Wes Cummings at running back and Reed Worth at quarterback. Those guys put up a lot of points, but without five special guys on the field, where would they be?

Millions upon millions of people watch football, but most people don’t think about the offensive linemen. The line might be one of the most, if not the most, important thing in any of football game.

The Mustangs’ starting offensive line includes sophomore Greyson Strum holding down the center position, senior Nick Meinders and junior Jace Smith at the guards, and protecting the edges are the tackles juniors Seth Greiner and senior Andrew Van RysWyk. The next guys in would include senior Olin Meinders, sophomores Caleb Duinink, Trevor Buckingham, Kaeden Strum, and juniors Austin Simo, Trent Johnston, and Dawson Harney.

For the most part, those guys don’t get mentioned in the paper, or get a ton of recognition for all the blocks they set up. However, it doesn’t seem to bother them very much.

As Van RysWyk jokingly put it when asked how it felt to not always get the spotlight, “We do a lot of work, but no respect.” His fellow linemen had much more humble answers.

Strum said, “I mean, it’s really not too bad. I don’t really like to be in the spotlight too much.”

“I’m not too worried about it. I know I have a job I need to get done,” Meinders says.

Shannon put it very nicely himself as well saying, “An offensive linemen doesn’t need recognition from the ‘outside’ world.”

These guys also love what they do. Most people would say that playing the offensive line is terrible since it’s a hard and boring job, but this group of guys would disagree.

Greiner says, “I feel it’s a really fun position to play. There’s a lot of plays to memorize, but it’s a lot of fun to go out and crush the guy in front of you.”

That’s the they way most of their personalities are. They’re strong individuals with humble attitudes. Another way they, and other teammates, would describe themselves would be fun. Each lineman that was interviewed said very similar things about the guys around them, which was they loved the guys around them and absolutely love to have fun. The boys this year as many said, are very close. They spend everyday with each other at practice and you can tell they love what they do and who they’re around.

“We have a lot of fun. Me, the boys, coach Shannon, great guys, great time.” Van RysWyk says.

As mentioned earlier, the five guys are very close. They almost have to be since their job is to work together to form a human wall.

“I wouldn’t trade these guys for anybody in the country,” states Meinders.

A reason these guys have so much fun, get so much work done, and are so close is because of their coaches, Jeff Shannon, and Andy Strum. Many of them said that they loved coach Shannon and strum. The boys say they are great coaches along with being men and are fun to be around. They are a key aspect as to why these guys are so close.

“Shannon’s a goofy guy, but he’s serious when he needs to be, and I think that’s great,” Smith says. Shannon gets along great with his players, and you could ask anyone that that’s a great thing. Coach Strum works a lot more with the younger guys, so he isn’t around the older guys as much. All of the younger guys would tell you in a heartbeat they love having him around.

Not only do the guys love their coaches, but their coaches love them.

They are a great group of kids, and I feel that our three Seniors have a lot to do with that. Andrew, Nicky, and Olin are just awesome people, on and off the field, and it all starts with them,” says Coach Shannon.

The Mustangs offensive linemen definitely are a special group of guys who just want to go out and play football.

As Shannon puts it, An offensive lineman doesn’t need recognition from the ‘outside’ world. It takes a special person to be an offensive lineman, it’s not for everyone. You need to be a quick, physical, dominant player that always puts the team first. That’s exactly what the guys and on our line are.”