It’s tough to win football games if you can’t compete in the trenches.
“Andrew Cline was the reason we were able to win the line of scrimmage,” Port Clinton football coach Beau Carmon said. “His leadership and his example set the bar. What we did starts on the line of scrimmage.
“It will be difficult to replace Andrew.”
Cline has announced plans to continue his career at Capital University. He will be Carmon’s first offensive lineman to play in college.
“Watching a game on my visit, I pictured myself coming out of the tunnel,” Cline said. “I loved the campus. I had a gut feeling. This is what I wanted to do. I don’t know what I’d do without football. Football has been my life.”
Cline plans to study education and wants to coach football at some level after graduating. Football has been important for Cline off the field.
“I started in the sixth grade and I was a chunky kid,” he said. “I wasn’t very social. Within the first year I started talking more because of football.”
Cline also progressed at the high school level.
“He was so much stronger this year,” Carmon said. “He could lock in and finish blocks. He understood our terminology and our schemes and his assignments. His confidence allowed him to improve and help others improve.
“He has tremendous football knowledge. He was the leader of the most cohesive line I’ve coached. The improvement from last year to this year was phenomenal. He took pride in his offseason work, and it paid off.”
Cline takes a new joy in his home after a seven-win campaign and the first postseason game in program history. He also will remember a road win over Genoa.
“If anybody asked where I came from, I said Port Clinton with pride,” he said of his visit. “I couldn’t really say that before. Guys complimented the program, and it gave me chills. There’s no place I’d rather come from, and they’ll keep it up.
“I’d do anything to go back and do it again.”
Cline considers his teammates family.
“Respect for the people you play with and play for is big,” he said. “There’s no stronger bond than grinding and sometimes bleeding on the field in the hot summer or lifting with the guys. It’s life-changing.
“I didn’t really understand it as a sophomore, but as a senior you saw the sincerity. We were a completely different team. We played with class and fire, and we had something to prove.”