Hanover rising senior quarterback Zac Sheaffer is getting ready to enter his senior year and has several big decisions on his plate.
The three-sport athlete must decide what sport to play in college. Looming even larger is Sheaffer's desire to earn an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.
"I just feel like I should give back to my country," Sheaffer said. "One day we were talking about colleges and it just hit me that I really wanted to go there."
Sheaffer has spent most of his summer training for the Naval Academy's physical assessment test with Hanover head girls' basketball coach Denny Garman. The majority of his training consists of pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups. Saturday at the New Oxford Lineman Challenge he saw some of his hard-work pay off, especially in the dumbbell relay.
Sheaffer felt that being in the trenches with his linemen will go a long way in helping the team overcome obstacles they encounter throughout the season.
"Being out here today and battling with the linemen was really good," Sheaffer said. "They are the guys out there protecting me, so to battle out there with them today was pretty cool."
Sheaffer fully understands the importance of working together, trusting one another and supporting each other, traits that will serve him very well if he receives his appointment into the Naval Academy.
For New Oxford rising sophomore Brock Hartman, Saturday was an opportunity to show everyone that sometimes youth reigns supreme.
Earning 18 points, Hartman finished as the top lineman out of more than 170 participants from 42 teams. He finished first in the beast sled with a time of 7.22 seconds and second in the tire flip with a time of 23.50.
"I am stoked," Hartman said. "I just finished my freshman year and I have two more years to take first and second for the individual stuff here. It really gives me confidence."
Despite only entering his sophomore year, this was the third time that Hartman competed in the lineman challenge. The summer before his eight grade year, New Oxford was low on numbers and allowed him to join in.
"My seventh grade year when I came here, I placed first in the beast sled on my team," Hartman said. "I didn't get to place overall, but I knew that's where I was going to be best. I knew coming into today that I would be good at that."
Since the end of football season, Hartman has worked on his strength and getting quicker feet. Saturday he saw some of that hard work pay off, especially in the sack the quarterback drill.
"I am a bigger guy, so I don't get up to speed as quick as other people," he said. "My time last year was slower than this year. I think the quick feet played a part in helping me take a full second off my time."
Hartman was able to summarize his thoughts on the day in one word.
"Amazing," he said.
Fairfield rising senior Brett Harris is on somewhat of a high and it is understandable why. For more than three years, the Green Knights hadn't won a football game, losing 37 in a row.But with a 27-21 victory over Hanover in the last game of the year, Harris and the rest of his Knights teammates are riding a one-game winning streak. After such a long losing streak, one feels really good.
"I can't explain the feeling," he said. "I wish we could have done it a year before, because my brother was on that team. For the seniors last year, that went through all the losses, this win wasn't just for me, it was for everyone. We were all pumped and happy."
Do not think that Harris is satisfied, though. Now that he has tasted victory he is spending his off-season and experience at the New Oxford Linemen Challenge as an opportunity to get better.
"I have just been making sure I am working hard, not being satisfied because there is always someone working harder," he said.
Harris enjoyed that the event was all about the lineman showing off their skills, stating that often times he thinks lineman get a bad rap.
"It is pretty hard," he said of playing the position. "It is not just a fat guy out there standing, trying to move someone. You have to be quick."