Tualatin steps up at Metro Area Lineman Challenge
HILLSBORO — Some things just never seem to change.
It certainly seems to be that way with the Tualatin High School football team and the Metro Area Lineman Challenge.
Every year, no matter how many key linemen the Timberwolves need to replace from the previous season, the Tualatin group of linemen always seem to step up at the challenge.
And, while the Wolves weren't quite able to claim the championship for the third year in a row, they once again flashed their potential at this year's Metro Area Lineman Challenge, which was held July 20 at Hare Field.
"It's pretty big for us," said Cody Van Meter, a Tualatin High School senior-to-be. "We've won it a lot of times at Tualatin, so it's pretty good. We take pride in it. We try to have the strongest unit on the team."
"It's going great," Tualatin senior-to-be Brett Gydesen said. "It's been an awesome competition."
The Timberwolves ended up taking third place, out of 24 teams, in the standings at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge with 43 points.
"It's been going pretty good," Van Meter said. "We've been consistent, putting up good numbers throughout all the events."
Tualatin is looking to replace three key lineman, Quinn McCarthy, Dane Norlin and Gavin Moore, who graduated from last year's squad that went 7-4 on the season and reached the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
Van Meter and Gydesen have the most experience on the current group of Tualatin linemen. Van Meter was a Three Rivers League honorable-mention pick on both the offensive and defensive line last year, while Gydesen was an honorable-mention pick on offense.
"It's going pretty good," Gydesen said. "We've got a couple of guys, Cody and (senior-to-be) Sonny (Edward), who played a lot last year, and we're bringing up the young guys."
"We're looking good," Van Meter said. "We're looking to fill holes from last year."
Van Meter helped lead the way for the Timberwolves at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge, as he finished in fifth place, overall, in the lightweight individual standings.
"My day is going pretty good," Van Meter said during the competition. "The bench press was pretty good."
Van Meter had 17 lifts in the bench press, which was set at 185 pounds, tying him with Edward for the best mark on the team. Gydesen had 15 lifts in the bench press. Junior-to-be Curtis Strahm had 14 lifts, while senior-to-be Jake Reser and junior-to-be Dylan Nguyen each had 13.
Tualatin, as a team, claimed second-place points in the bench press.
The Wolves also were second in the tire flip.
"The tire flip has been really good," Gydesen said. "We had three or four guys over 14."
Senior-to-be Dawson Comstock paced Tualatin in the tire flip with 15. Strahm and Gydesen each had 14. Van Meter and junior-to-be Mikel Madarieta each had 13.
Comstock had the top time for Tualatin in the 40-yard dash with a mark of 4.98 seconds. Van Meter was second on the team with a time of 5.32.
Van Meter led the way for the Wolves in the shuttle run with a time of 4.64. Reser was close behind with a mark of 4.67. Comstock had a 4.75.
Comstock led the Wolves in the vertical jump with a mark of 28.0 inches. Madarieta was second on the team in that event with a mark of 26.0. Strahm and Gydesen each had a height of 25.5.
In the broad jump, Comstock paced Tualatin with a mark of 101.5 inches. Gydesen was second on the team at 97.0.
Van Meter led the way for the Wolves in the farmer's carry with a distance of 81 yards. Reser was second on the team at 78. Edward was third on 72.
Tualatin, as a team, showed its speed and strength in the blocking sled relay, having the second-best time of all teams in that event.
Comstock finished in 12th place in the lightweight individual standings. Reser was 14th. Gydesen finished in 13th place in the heavyweight individual standings. Edward was 23rd.
"This is really fun," Van Meter said. "It's the best part of the year."
"The 7-on-7 is where all the skill guys are, and we have this," Gydesen said. "It's our opportunity to show everyone what we have. The last couple of years, we won it. That's motivation for us."
The Tualatin team also included Nolan Fragiao and Guled Jama. The Tualatin 2 team finished in a tie for 17th place in the team standings. The Tualatin 2 team included Adam Case, Tyler Dickson, Jack Biedritzky, Nico Webb, Zach Hoekstra, Brandon Chin, Jaxon Hutchison, Paulo Rodriguez, Braden Moore and Logan Kirkpatrick.
McKay won the team title at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge with 73 points. Southridge was second with a score of 50.
The Wolves are now looking forward to the upcoming 2019 season.
"We want to do the best we can," Gydesen said. "We want to get to the playoffs. We've been to the second round the last couple of years, and we want to get past that."
"We want to improve from last year," Van Meter said. "That's our goal. We want to go as far as we can, and aim for that state championship."
Tualatin will open the 2019 season on Sept. 6, when it hosts Lakeridge in a Three Rivers League contest.
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