Linemen Take On Leadership Role

The Fred T. Foard Tigers had to look for some leaders this season, and they look to the interior to find them. Linemen Cole Schanilec, a senior, and Tanner Flemming, a junior, are what the Tigers found as the start of the 2010 season approaches.

“I love it,” Foard coach Ryan Gettys said. “Nothing happens without linemen. People will really respect other players, and sometimes the skill guys forget about linemen. Having them as leaders is going to be big.”

Schanilec is a three-year starter on the Tigers’ varsity squad coming into this season, and Miller is starting his third season with Foard’s varsity team. Schanilec said both players need to lead this season and show other players what it takes for the Tigers to succeed. Schanilec displayed some of that Tuesday during a hot, humid practice while encouraging other lineman going through defensive drills.

“Leaders show the team what they need for energy to come out with a win,” Flemming said. “We just step up and do the best we can.”

Gettys expects a lot this season out of two of his largest and most-experienced players. Schanilec is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound mountain of high school player with good footwork, and Flemming checked in at 6-feet, 280. Despite their size, both players are surprisingly quick. Gettys said Schanilec has a 4.9-second time in the 40-yard dash, and Flemming was clocked at 5.1 seconds.

They will also pull double duty this season playing on defense as well. Gettys said Schanilec could play defense next season at the collegiate level.

“I get serious about the fact that people look up to me and expect certain things from me,” Schanilec said.

Both linemen are the head of the Tiger’s den, but they have two different styles. Schanilec is calm and collected, and that’s what he projects to the rest of the team in tough situations. Flemming is slightly more vocal during those same situations.

The two even have a nickname for their combination of styles — “Fire and Ice.”

“I enjoy bringing the fire, and that’s why I do it,” Flemming said. “It’s my favorite part of the game. Pretty much getting us all jacked up for the game.”

Then Schanilec comes in to make sure all that energy moves in the right direction.

“I have to be the one who keeps everyone on a cool level and an even keel,” Schanilec said. “Keep everyone focused on what we have to do offensively and defensively.”

Gettys did not know about the new moniker, but he said it fit.