Tigers flex their muscles at Lineman Challenge
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.
Tigard, while already looking to have the power, strength and acceleration, is working on strengthening that teamwork as well, and it showed at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge, an event held July 20 at Hare Field.
"We like to compete, push each other, encourage each other and push the whole way," Tigard senior-to-be Bryce Goetz said at the end of the event. "We're trying to work together as a cohesive unit now, and form that brotherhood."
"We're just going to keep working together — brotherhood," Tigard senior-to-be Johnny Nomani said. "We've been here for awhile, and we take pride in everything we do. So we try to do the best we can."
The Tigers finished in sixth place, out of 24 teams, at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge with 28 points.
"This was really fun," Goetz said. "We're kind of disappointed in how it ended, but we had a great time. And we know this doesn't compare to a regular-season game. It's a lot of fun, and we worked at it. It shows our strength and hard work, but what really matters is what happens on the field, and we're working for that."
Tigard lost some key players from last year's squad, including Isaia Porter, who shared the Three Rivers League Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year honors, to graduation. The Tigers do return some key linemen, led by Nomani, who was a first-team all-league pick at offensive guard and an honorable-mention pick on the defensive line last year. Other players, such as Goetz and Brayden Zolkoske, also have varsity experience, but Tigard will need to get some newcomers into the mix.
"The new guys are doing well," Nomani said. "They're getting used to things. The older guys are trying to be an example for the young guys, and just work together for the team."
The Tigers showed their teamwork during one of the most grueling parts of the lineman challenge, the team tug-of-war.
Tigard opened the double-elimination bracketed event by defeating Canby. The Tigers then lost to Central Catholic. That put Tigard in the losers' bracket, where it rebounded in a big way, defeating rival Tualatin, McMinnville and Glencoe in back-to-back-to-back matches without a break.
In the losers' bracket semifinals, the Tigers got some revenge, beating Central Catholic. Tigard then fell to Sunset in the losers' bracket final, leaving the Tigers in third place for the event.
"We had a tough start in the tug-of-war, but we came through," Goetz said. "I think we faced some adversity, but we fought through it. That shows that we don't give up, and that we're a unit. We pick each other up. We have a brotherhood that we're trying to form, and that starts now. We want to take that into the season, and it will carry us a long way."
"It went really well," Nomani said. "We communicated well as a unit toward the end, going three times in a row."
Goetz had a strong competition for the Tigers, finishing in seventh place in the overall individual standings in the heavyweight division. He topped all heavyweight competitors in the shuttle run with a time of 4.59 seconds.
Goetz also tied junior-to-be Ed Beglaryan for the team's best time in the 40-yard dash, with a mark of 5.12. Goetz also led the way for the Tigers in the bench press, lifting 185 pounds 16 times. Nomani was second on the team in that event with 15 lifts. Goetz paced the team in the tire flip with 14. Junior-to-be Zechariah Schwab was second on the team in that event with 13.
Nomani led the Tigers in the farmer's carry, taking the weight 81 yards. Schwab and Goetz each carried the weight 61 yards.
Senior-to-be Erik Schulz had the top mark for Tigard in the vertical jump, with a mark of 28.0 inches. Beglaryan was second on the team in that event at 26.3. Schulz also paced the team in the broad jump with a mark of 98.5. Schwab and Beglaryan each had a distance of 92.5.
Beglaryan finished in 11th place in the individual overall standings for the lightweight division.
Also competing for the Tigard team at the lineman challenge were Leif Beers, Owen Hagan and Zolkoske.
The Tigard 2 team, which finished in 16th place in the team standings, included J.J. Fuapau, Trystan Hileman, Nathan LaFavor, Luke Lyman, Caleb Walters, Manny Wilden and Zach Yuzon.
"I think we did pretty well as a unit. We worked pretty hard, and we gave it our all," Goetz said. "I love it. We have a great time out here. We have a full day. We have breakfast in the morning, we have lunch and then a steak dinner at time, so it's a whole day with the linemen. It's great."
"We're coming together as a team," Nomani said. "We should be set for the season."
McKay won the team title at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge with 73 points. Southridge was second with a score of 50.
Tigard is now looking forward to the upcoming 2019 season.
"We're really excited for the season," Goetz said. "We look a little small, but, as we'll continue to lift hard, and get into condition. If we outwork our opponent, I think we'll do just fine."
The Tigers will open their season on Sept. 6, when they play at Sunset in a non-league game.
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