Tigard linemen turn to teamwork
HILLSBORO — Power.
Those are just some of the things that has made the Tigard offensive and defensive line a traditional strength in recent years.
But there's something else that very well has made the Tiger linemen special — teamwork.
This year's Tigers linemen have already shown that teamwork in the trenches could be a key factor in the team's success this upcoming season. Tigard showed off that teamwork by triumphing in both the two-man blocking sled relay and the team tug-of-war at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge.
The Tigers, behind those two victories, battled their way to second place in the final team standings at the 2018 Metro Area Lineman Challenge, a competition that featured such events as the 40-yard dash, the shuttle run, vertical jump, standing broad jump, bench press, farmer's carry, tractor tire flip, two-man sled relay and the team tug of war, held July 14 at Hare Field.
"This is a lot of fun. I'm having the time of my life," Tigard High School senior-to-be Hayden McDonald said during the event. "We have a very athletic line this year, and we want to show what we can do."
"This is awesome," Tigard senior-to-be Isaia Tavita Porter said. "This is a great deal for linemen. It's competition and it takes a team effort. This will help drive us together."
The Tigers finished in second place in the final standings at the 29-team event with a score of 48 points. Tualatin took first place with a total of 58, and Jesuit was third at 46.
"The competition is awesome," McDonald said. "We definitely take a lot of pride in this. It's super fun."
In the two-man blocking sled relay, where there are four legs to the race, the Tigers and rival Tualatin went in the final pairing, with those two teams being traditional favorites in the event the past few years at the lineman challenge. And the feature race didn't disappoint.
Tualatin got off to a fast start, but Tigard came roaring back, and then the Tigers held off the Timberwolves in the end to win in a time of 1 minute and 8 seconds. Tualatin was second at 1:09.
While the blocking sled relay was close, Tigard easily seemed to power its way through the competition in the team tug-of-war. The Tigers, with Porter, Mahmud Mustafa, Bryce Goetz, McDonald, Brayden Zolkoske, Johnny Nomani, Brandon Baker and Mitchell Dawes providing the strength, won all of its matches in the double-elimination event, besting Sprague in the championship contest.
"It's fun to compete," Porter said. "We push each other. We want to make each other better."
The Tigers also had plenty of success in the individual events.
McDonald, in fact, finished in third place in the final standings for the lightweight division, and he placed fourth overall.
McDonald topped all competitors in the farmer's carry, lugging the hex shrug bar, with 315 pounds of weight on it, 98 yards. He also tied for team best in the tire flip with 12. In the bench press, McDonald did 16 lifts with 185 pounds on the bar, the second best mark for the Tigers. McDonald had the best marks for the team in the vertical jump, with a height of 27.5 inches, and in the standing broad jump, with a distance of 95.0.
McDonald also had the fastest time for Tigard in the 40-yard dash, at 4.87 seconds, and in the 20-yard shuttle run, with a time of 4.62.
Porter showed his power at the event, having a team-best 29 lifts in the bench press, which tied him for second best among all competitors, putting him behind only Jesuit's Joe Quillin, who had 33 lifts.
Porter also had the third best mark on the team in the farmer's carry, with a distance of 80 yards. He had 11 tire flips, a time of 5.20 in the 40-yard dash and a time of 4.75 in the shuttle run. Porter's vertical jump of 26.5 was also second best on the team.
Goetz, a Tigard junior-to-be, also was impressive in the power events. He had a distance of 84 yards in the farmer's carry, putting him second on the team. He also had 14 lifts in the bench press and 12 tire flips, tying him with McDonald for most on the team.
Mustafa, a Tigard senior-to-be, had 15 lifts in the bench press and he had a distance of 63 yards in the tire flip. Dawes, a Tigard senior-to-be, had 12 lifts in the bench press and 10 tire flips. Zolkoske, a Tigard junior-to-be, had 11 tire flips. Baker, a Tigard senior-to-be, had a standing broad jump of 90.0, which ranked second on the team.
Competing for the Tigard 2 team at the linemen challenge were Erik Schulz, Emilio Jimenez, Kyle Otis, Frankie Flores, Zechariah Schwab, Tristen Simmons, Owen Hagen and Demitirius Poccelli.
"It's going to be crazy this year," McDonald said. "We don't have a lot of size, but we've got a lot of guys who are fast."
Tigard will open the 2018 season on Aug. 31, when it hosts Sunset in a non-league game.