The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Game Night Online

September 5, 2013

Eagles out to continue tradition

— Vince Lombardi once said to be successful at Green Bay, the team needed to focus on faith, family and the Green Bay Packers.

If you take Lombardi’s advice and add to it the Line Mountain high school mascot, the Eagle — which symbolizes strength, perseverance and victory — you get an understanding of the foundation that has built the storied football program at Line Mountain.

After losing 19 seniors last year, there are just three seniors on this years team: Cory Warford (FB/MLB), Rayce Boyer (LG/MLB) and Kyle Lower (DT).

Add in junior, Elijah Zablowsky (LT/DE), and you have only four returning starters from last year’s 8-3 team.

But these are no ordinary returning starters. They are tasked with displaying, both in the classroom and on and off the field, what it means to be a football player at Line Mountain.

“They are all great kids in the classroom as well as on and off the field,” coach Rodney Knock said. “We are blessed with the kids we have here at Line Mountain.”

Rayce Boyer

The effort for Boyer in the classroom came from the Eagles’ past two football coaches, who were history teachers, and they were like school first and academics second, but they want to make sure that football is up there with academics, Boyer said.

“If you are not doing too good in academics, you are not playing football and coach Knock stands by that,” Boyer said. “We had to do well in school to do well on the field.”

Boyer’s favorite subjects are history and world history.

It was in his freshman year that Boyer learned about what it meant to put on the jersey and play on Friday nights for the Eagles.

“One of the seniors who I really looked up was Bryce Martz,” he said. “He was an animal. He’s now one of our coaches and, as it turns out, he’s become a really good friend of mine.”

Another player that Boyer looked up to was running back Joey Hukill.

“He went all out, every down, every play,” Boyer added.

Adding to the academic and football responsibilities come the pressure of passing the torch to the next senior class and the underclassmen.

“We show them what the seniors showed us when we were freshmen,” Boyer said. “Pride, effort, attitude.”

Part of showing the freshmen the responsibility that comes with wearing the jersey was to get them to the 7-on-7 camps and weight lifting, even as far as going to pick them up and bring them to the school or the camps.

 

Kyle Lower

“I moved here last year and I looked up to Cory (Warford) and the starters,” Lower said. “They gave me some good advice on playing on the scout team and that’s how I got to where I am now.”

It was one big hit in a game that gave Lower the opportunity to crack the starting lineup.

“It was ONE big tackle,” he said.

With any winning program, there has to be love among the players.

Coming over from Halifax High School, Lower sees that love in his teammates.

“I love having these guys around, they have really good attitudes and they support me,” he said. “They keep my attitude in check sometimes.

Lower admitted that he does have a bit of a mean streak in him.

“I can get really mean at times,” he said.

But that’s a good thing for an offensive lineman.

When it was brought up about the theme for this year of finishing the games, all four players noted they got the chills when it came to the Southern game and just how close they were to winning.

“This year I see that everybody is finishing everything they do,” Lower said. “None of our players are taking it easy and they are giving it 100 percent and beyond to try and be the best they can be.”

“I want the freshmen defensive tackles and defensive lines to play like me and have the intensity and anger I have,” Lower said of what he wants to leave for the underclassmen to build on.

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