Giving ‘Big Uglies’ their due respect
By Kyle LoJacono
For every successful offense, there are five good offensive linemen doing the dirty work up front. Former National Football League announcer John Madden called them the “big uglies,” and they never seemed to get credit.
It is time for that to change. Time to give the “Big Uglies” their due before they come and crush little sports writers for ignoring them.
First up is Wharton center Blake Nold, the lone senior on his team’s offensive line.
Nold has acted as the captain of the line and an on-field coach for the young unit that lost three seniors from last year’s playoff team. The 6-foot-1, 275-pound Nold is gaining interest from colleges like the University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky.
Moving north we find Pasco junior left tackle Chuck Wood. The first-year starter has grown eight inches and put on 60 pounds since starting high school.
Pasco coach Tom McHugh said Wood is one of the hardest workers and among the easiest to coach that he has ever had. He said Wood leads by example and never wants to let his teammates down.
Moving to Wesley Chapel, senior center Ray Nixon, who has started for three years, is the captain of the line.
Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare never has to worry about anything when the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder is calling the cadence for the offense. The coach said Nixon’s work ethic and leadership come from a strong family and a lifetime of good parenting.
Finishing up Pasco County is Sunlake junior guard Matt Sanders. The two-year starter has been described by coach Bill Browning as a leader who is always looking out for the rest of the team.
Sanders still has some growing to do to fill out his current 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame, but Browning says he is already the most physical offensive linemen on the team.
Last is Carrollwood Day Prep senior guard Sarge Patel. Patel was not a big factor for the Patriots before this year, but he has made an impression on his teammates this year.
Wide receiver Matt Monteilh said Patel has stepped up his game and been an important part of the line. He said Patel always knows where to be to help the team make big plays.
Give it up for the “Big Uglies” who make the skill players look good.
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