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Glory for linemen stays in trenches

After years of hiking the ball and annihilating defensive fronts, Seminole center Kyle Sand wants to know what it would be like to have the ball placed in his hands.

"I just want one running play," Sand said. "But not just any running play. I want to run a sweep where I can be out in the open and throw a stiff-arm on somebody."

While Sand can picture the moment where he is turning the corner with light feet and fluid action, his run to glory remains a dream.

"Kyle is not shy and asks for a lot of things," Warhawks coach Sam Roper said. "But that's one thing we have not allowed him to do. A running play for Kyle? That's deep in the garbage of plays."

Although Sand most likely will never get the chance to run through a hole, his teammates and coaches have shown their appreciation for the offensive line's ability to open them.

Behind these behemoths, Warhawks running back Joey Fabrizio led the county with 1,406 yards rushing and scored 21 touchdowns.

"The offensive linemen are special to me and I try to treat them right," Fabrizio said. "They all work hard and have played together a long time. They're the reason we're 11-0."

Fabrizio showed his appreciation by taking the offensive line out to dinner whenever he rushed for 100 yards during the regular season, a wallet-draining experience considering Fabrizio reached that plateau six times.

The school also recognizes those in the trenches with a lineman of the week award. The recipient and a coach get treated to dinner at a local steakhouse.

"We try to give as much credit to those guys up front as we can," Roper said. "We expected the line to be our strength and they've done an admirable job."

Sand and Tony Lorenzetti are the seniors who anchor a line that has become as tight as an infantry unit.

On Friday night, that united front will face its biggest challenge when Seminole hosts Bradenton Manatee in a Class 5A region semifinal. Last season, the Warhawks beat the Hurricanes to advance.

"We know the line is going to play the biggest role," Lorenzetti said.

Sand knows his role this week is to drive-block, not drive his coaches crazy with getting that elusive handoff.

"We all want to play other positions," Sand said. "But I try not to complain. I know the offensive line is my place and my specialty."