The high school football offseason has plenty going on to show fans just how good their team will be at the skill positions. But what about the linemen?
You don’t see the big guys, err trench hogs, at out passing tournaments unless they’re watching in the stands. No, they’re typically hidden away in smelly weight rooms trying to lay the foundation for success.
That is until former Los Altos standout Brigham Harwell started Trench Hogs, a weekly workout designed to help offensive and defensive linemen get the extra polish that’s usually reserved for skill position players.
“You’re only as good as your lines,” said Harwell, who was the Tribune Player of the Year in 2003 and later played at UCLA. “That’s why I wanted to do Trench Hogs. You only go as far as your linemen.
“I wish their coaches would see see the kind of work they’re doing. The coaches aren’t seeing it, but they’ll see it in camp, because by August these guys are going to be top-notch players.”
Harwell, now an assistant coach at Cantwell Sacred Heart in Montebello, holds the workouts on weekend mornings at Cantwell. Saturdays are for skills work while Sundays are for weight room. There are 15-20 participants on a given weekend.
“It’s amazing to see guys wake up every weekend and be here,” Harwell said. “I went hard during the week in high school, but I would never workout during the weekends. These guys are a different breed. They don’t go on vacation. Football is their lives.”
Harwell is set to unleash his proteges on the local scene this fall, headlined by Bishop Amat’s Ryan Munoz and Andrew Vasquez, and Los Altos’ David Jimenez.
Jimenez is already known a quantity. He was a force last season as a junior and figures to be one of the top defensive linemen in the area this fall. Listed at 6-foot, 255 pounds, Jimenez had 65 tackles last season, including 11 tackles for loss.
“Jimenez is just a strong guy, a lot of power,” Harwell said. “He’s going to be a senior and knows that this is his year.”
Munoz and Vasquez saw limited playing time for Amat last year but figure to be counted on heavily in their junior season. Both players could quickly develop into stars for the Lancers, according to Harwell.
“This year would be their year to make their nose in the Valley,” Harwell said. “They know all the tricks.
“Andrew has technique and is really fast and explosive. Ryan is just all around a good defensive tackle. He has it all.”