In the Tate Aggies’ 38-7 win over Biloxi (Miss.) in Week One, the Aggies fired on all cylinders.
But the unit that showed the most pristine execution was arguably the offensive line, as the squad paved the way for six scoring drives (five TDs) without allowing a sack.
On that line you’ll find hard-nosed players, as well as deep friendship and camaraderie.
“Last season, we had a great leader on O-line in Blake Atteberry,” Tate center Gaven McAnally said. “(Atteberry) knew everything and everyone’s job on the O-line. Coming into this year, I felt like I had to take his old role on.”
McAnally, a.k.a “Aggie Mac,” is one of three seniors on Tate’s offensive line, all who play a leadership role for a unit in which McAnally takes great pride.
“Me and Red (Caleb Johnson) have been friends the longest,” McAnally said. “We met through Cantonment (youth) football and have been friends for six years.”
But Johnson provides more than simply friendship to Tate’s line.
“Red (Johnson) is a big leader for us,” McAnally said. “He steps to the plate and knocks people out.”
When looking at Tate’s left tackle, Junior Dixon, McAnally bragged about his size.
“He’s like Michael Oher … covers the blind side,” McAnally said. “He’s about 6-6 and weighs 300 pounds. We call him June Bug, he’s a big ole’ boy.”
As for the underclassmen on the O-line, McAnally described a tough-love relationship.
“They (underclassmen) probably think of me as a jerk,” McAnally said. “I’m hard on them. I don’t let them be soft. But off the field, we are all friends. We all go to dinner every Thursday night.
“And we go fishing …. fishing all the time.”
But Friday night their will be no time for angling. The Aggies will be all business, as they travel to face West Florida at 7 p.m.
“(Against Biloxi) our O-line played excellent,” Tate RB Alondo Thompkins said. “Aggie Mac is always on their case.
“And we need them again (Friday at West Florida). I know West Florida has a very tough defense. But we’ve got smart coaches and I expect us to win.
“When I was a sophomore, West Florida blew us out. We beat them my junior year. This year, we will see who’s gonna break the tie.”
Want to go?
Who: Tate Aggies vs. West Florida Jaguars.
Where: Woodham Middle School.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Skinny: Tate handled West Florida last season, but the Jags’ rebounded from the loss and went unbeaten the rest of the season on the way to a District 1-5A title.