In his 3rd year as an Assistant Coach of Enid High Football (and 2nd as Offensive Line Coach), Coach James Goble says “this O-Line is one of the most improved units on the team. We have gone from getting pushed around to being competitive in every game since I have been here. Even last year to this year, we have gone from 6 guys we felt were physically and mentally ready to play to 8, maybe 9 guys we are starting with this year that can rotate in.” As almost all the coaches have done, he credits a lot of this improvement to Enid’s strength and conditioning program led by Coach Tracy Baldwin. “All of our payers have gotten bigger, stronger and faster over the summer. We are well conditioned, and I am not worried about being pushed around on the line. This is a credit to Coach Baldwin, but also the effort they have put in. We will need them to continue to develop, but I’m happy where we are at this point in the season,” Goble said.
Even though they are replacing two graduated players, and the main back up, the anticipated starting line still returns lots of experience. “We’ve got 3 seniors that will likely start, Evan Sullivan, Erik Ford and Willian Dodds. They all have good experience and will know where to line up and the plays. Evan, especially, has taken the biggest step both on and off the field. His leadership, especially over the summer in the weight room and with his teammates, has been exceptional. All throughout the summer he has been motivating and encouraging his teammates without me having to say anything to them. I expect good things from him this season at Center. Erik (“Big E”) might be the strongest kid on the team. He is very strong and if he can take that strength and use it to his advantage, he will be really good for us. We also have a sophomore, Jarrett Russell and a Junior, Dillon Nelson, who will likely be our first unit. Nelson moved over from defense and we thought with him getting a lot stronger, he has the speed to really help us at Guard.”
Coach Goble also makes a point that as the line goes, so goes the offense. “Five of the eleven guys on offense are on the O-Line. They don’t get all the flashy stats, but those big scores don’t happen unless they are doing their jobs. We want to honor that, so the “Pancake Chain” is back this year, and whenever we score, one of the O-linemen will get to wear it to show the effort they made to help make that happen.”
There is no question the team has improved each year of the past four years. This year might be the year they get over the hump and bring home a winning record. But that doesn’t happen without the big boys in the trenches.
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