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The MVHS Offensive Line ... Down In The Trenches Is Where Work Gets Done

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Posted: Friday, October 3, 2014 5:21 pm

They don’t get the stats. They don’t get their highlights played on TV. They don’t get much ink… and they like it that way.

They are the offensive line.

The offensive line on any team is the most important unit on the field. Without them, no running back can score a touchdown, a quarterback cannot make a great pass nor can a receiver make highlight reel catch. They are tough, blue collared, and selfless.

Mar Vista High School’s offensive line is no different. Headed by returning starters senior Jesus Medina, juniors Hugh Anthony, and Kaelin Washington along with newcomers senior Jaime Sanchez and sophomore Gabriel Preciado, they have opened holes for running backs Khalil Spruill & Mateo Olmos and have allowed quarterback Ben Munoz to throw touchdown passes to wide receivers Josh Cooper and Nijal Collins.

When meeting up with this unique group of young men, there is a sense of camaraderie among them and the feeling that any quarterback would be happy to have this group protecting him.

When asked why he plays, Medina says with a smile, “Friday night lights only come once.” Medina is a senior guard who started last season and is also a captain of the team. He began his varsity career as a sophomore and has the nickname of “Mumbles Medina” because his mouthpiece makes it hard for everyone to understand him on the field. At this, the rest of the linemen laugh.

Medina is more than a football player; he carries a 3.3 GPA and has passed the AP Spanish Language Exam. Medina was also the Mar Vista Homecoming King and is noted for his toughness and dependability.  

Anthony is a junior guard who played a lot last season and also starts as a defensive lineman. He has been playing football since he was in kindergarten. Anthony says he began football because his family has been huge fans of the game; they are especially big fans of the Atlanta Falcons team. As part of the Mariners, he has acquired the nickname of “Dirty” because he likes the Atlanta Falcons and running back Jamal Anderson who used to do “The Dirty Bird” after every touchdown.

Anthony has a 3.0 GPA, takes honors classes, and is also a member of the Mariner Basketball Program.

Washington is a junior center who started as a sophomore on a senior dominated team. He is in charge of calling out the defense and being the anchor for the offensive line. He has been playing since he was six years old and it is a job he takes seriously.

Although, there were smiles all around when his nickname came up, “Sugar Bear.” One of the coaches said that he looked like “Sugar Bear” from one of the boxes of cereal. But Washington is determined when it comes to football and his studies. He carries a 3.08 GPA and takes honors and accelerated classes. Washington is a two-sport athlete as he also plays basketball for the Mariners.

Sanchez is a senior and this is his first season on varsity. Sanchez was the most improved player on the JV last season and has continued to work hard to earn a starting spot during his final season.

As to his recent entry to the sport of football beginning his junior year, Sanchez said, “I just wanted to do something, try a sport, before leaving high school.” He chose football because “I used to be big and gumpy.”

The others laugh. The rejoinder comes in, “You still are!” Hence, Sanchez’s nickname, “Big Dog.”

Sanchez is also a serious student. He has a 3.22 GPA and takes AP (Advanced Placement) and Honors classes.

The youngest in this group is Preciado. Preciado is a sophomore making the big jump from the Freshman team. His brother, Andres Preciado, earned a football scholarship to BCS Buster Boise State, and has inspired Gabriel Preciado to follow in his footsteps. Both won best lineman of the year award (Gabriel on Freshman and Andres on Varsity) and both are stellar students as Gabriel Preciado maintains a 3.60 GPA while taking AP/Accelerated Class, is a member of the ASB and is a tri-sport athlete (basketball and baseball).  

Preciado also just began in the sport of football and he really likes it, especially his position. “It’s really fun and I’m hitting people,” he laughs. He is known as “Two Scoops” because he likes to ask for seconds at team dinners.

Together the group says that playing Harbor High School was their favorite game to date, maybe because of the 42-6 score, or maybe because they were up in Santa Cruz for the game. Their biggest opponents, size-wise, to date has been Valley Center, “by far!” Anthony says that calling a blitz is one of the more difficult aspects of their job and they all agree that Medina is a “game player;” he really shows up for the game.

These offensive linemen epitomize what linemen should be. They are your “lunch-pail” type players that come to practice every day and are always ready to go. The habits and characteristics they possess are qualities that will help them excel beyond the gridiron.

The next Mar Vista Mariners game is this Friday night, Oct. 3, away at Santana at 7 p.m. The team would love to have your support! Go Mariners!

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