By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
In every sport there are those who get the glory and those who make it possible for someone to get the glory. In football those unsung heroes are the young men who toil on the offensive line.
The Bluefield Beavers opened the 2012 football season with a loss to their cross-town border rivals, the Graham G-Men. Since then the Beavers have reeled off five straight wins. The offense is averaging 50 points a game. Bluefield has rushed for 2,145 yards. Beaver quarterbacks have completed 18-of-29 passes for five touchdowns and 465 yards.
While running backs, quarterbacks and receivers have gained all the yardage and scored the points, except for two Joe Woodrum interceptions returned for touchdowns last week against River View, it would not have been possible without an offensive line, and an offensive line that does its job. In the case of the Bluefield Beavers the last five games, the O-line has done its job well.
Center Cody Gore, guards Tyler Myers and D.J. Green, and tackles Danny Miller and Julius Thomas all say that hard work is they key and they will accept nothing less.
“We’ve gotten a lot better from last year thanks to the coaches and all the work we put in, in practice,” said senior Julius Thomas. “It’s getting better each week. We go out and practice harder and harder each day and that gets us ready for Friday’s game. It’s a good thing for us.”
Tyler Myers, a senior, added, “All these guys work real hard and it’s been a team effort from day one. Everyone works hard to get better and make each other better.”
Cody Gore started on the line last season and is the only non-senior along the front. Gore said, “The Graham game wasn’t our best, but now we’re showing people what we can do and that we have been improving.
Gore said that hard work including lifting and tough practices have helped the unit and entire team has gotten better as the season has progressed.
D.J. Green is playing his first season for the Beavers, coming to Bluefield from PikeView and he credits the dedication of the coaching staff in helping the team develop throughout the season.
“We’ve improved a whole lot and we’ve grown together as a team,” Green said. “We’ve got a whole lot more chemistry and I think that’s what is going good for us right now. After our first loss we didn’t want to have that feeling again. Ever since then, we’ve gotten together and come out every game to prove a point.”
Danny Miller is one of the four senior captains on the team. Miller, as his teammates, believes the season-opening loss set off an alarm inside the Beavers that has the team running at peak level.
“The loss to Graham woke a lot of us up and made us realize no matter how good we feel we are, we think we are, we’re always going to have to work hard because any team can be beat any week.
“The hard work, practices, the coaches have stayed on us to get better and our scout teams have helped us get better each week.”
The scout team, for those unfamiliar with the inner-workings of football, is the reserves on a team that mirror what an opposing team does on either offense, or defense as the team prepares for its next game. Green also gave kudos to the Beavers scout team.
“Our scout defense works us real hard each day when we go live,” Green said. “That’s makes us better because we’re ready for the game and game conditions.
“Our practices are so hard, that it makes games easy.”
At times this season the Beavers games have appeared easy as they average nearly 10 yards per rush. For linemen, seeing a runner break off a long run, or a receiver catch a long pass is a sign of their work being done.
“When we see one of them score, or get a long run, it makes us feel good because we are the ones blocking for them,” Thomas said. “It feels real good.”
Myers expressed a similar feeling. “It’s really rewarding to be out there and block somebody and see one of your teammates bust off a big run, or a huge pass. It’s rewarding to see that happen. I think that’s my favorite thing on the field.”
Miller said, “When we break off a big run for a touchdown, or a big gain, it shows that our line is communicating well and getting blocks.
“I get happy because I feel everybody on the line and everybody on the team has done their part to get the block, execute what they had to do to get one of our backs to break off a big run for a touchdown, or a first down.”
As the only underclassman on the starting O-line, Gore has some advice for young Beavers.
“It doesn’t matter what grade you’re in because last year I was a sophomore who started,” Gore said. “If you just put out good work and try your hardest, you can start.”
Bluefield currently rated sixth in the WVSSAC ratings, looks to win its sixth straight game when it takes to the road for the first time this season, Friday night at Westside.
— Contact Bob Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org