Marble Falls High School football linemen placed ninth at the annual Lineman Challenge in Abilene on June 26. The team includes coach Robert Draper (left), players Larson Earles, Hudson McBryde, Jacob Maldonado, Gerardo Hernandez, Joe Maldonado, Matias Fonseca, Gavin Hernandez, Jeremiah Bales, Jose Tonche, Brian Beltran, and Jason Henry, and coach Michael McDowell. Courtesy photo
The Marble Falls High School football team’s trench workers finished ninth at the state Lineman Challenge. The players competed in the 17-team Classes 5A and 6A division at the competition, which was held June 26 at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
The Marble Falls team consists of seniors Hudson McBryde, Larson Earles, Jacob Maldonado, Gerardo Hernandez, Joe Maldonado, Matias Fonseca, Jose Tonche, and Jason Henry, junior Brian Beltran, and sophomores Gavin Hernandez and Jeremiah Bales. Offensive line coach Robert Draper and tight ends and receivers coach Michael McDowell coached the Mustangs.
“It was a bonding experience for the kids and great experience,” Draper said. “They got to go up and see some things they may not get a chance to see.”
The competition included a tier lift, bench press, heavy cylinder roll, weighted bag carry, sled pull, and obstacle course. Athletes even pushed a Ford truck for 30 yards on a track.
Teams accumulated points based on finishes in each event with standings determined by the grand total.
The Mustangs qualified for the state meet with a second-place finish at the Burnet satellite meet in June behind Killeen Shoemaker.
Going into the state meet, Draper told his players that if they stayed close to Shoemaker and Liberty Hill, they’d do well in the overall standings. That proved to be true with the Mustangs finishing ninth and Shoemaker in 10th. Liberty Hill didn’t make the top 10.
Draper said the Mustangs also built rapport at the meet, particularly with the younger student-athletes Beltran, Hernandez, and Bales.
“It’s good for those guys to get experience,” he said. “It gives us some more reasons to believe in ourselves.”