Thursday, April 10 at the Bridge City High School football stadium there was an unusual athletic event. The event was designed by the varsity line coaches at Bridge City and Orangefield to test the strength, agility, and speed of the linemen from each school.
Defensive line coach Kevin Jones of Bridge City said, "we wanted to give our linemen something comparable to the seven on seven drills that the speedy players have. Competition in these drills will carry over to playing on the field."
The events were styled after the competitive relay challenges that have been seen on television. The lineman challenge included events such as the "stone stack" which required the players to carry a five- gallon bucket nearly filled with concrete (the stone) and place three stones on tables of varying heights. The player would carry one stone, stack it on the table and return to the starting line to get another stone. This was a timed event, which called for speed and agility in addition to strength.
The tire flip was an event with one player from each school going head to head flipping a large tractor tire down the field. The first across the line was the winner.
Tire tossing was a discus throw on steroids. The players threw an auto tire in the same manner as a discus, with a spin and letting go. They were given two tosses each for distance. The longest toss of the entire competition being the winner.
The farmer’s walk was done carrying 100 pounds of weight and was another head to head event. The players had to travel down and back a set distance, each trying to be the first to cross the finish line.
The harness war called for a player from each team to be placed in a harness connected by a strong nylon strap about eight feet long. The players were back to back in the harness and the object was to for one player to pull the other across a line first. The starting position was the lineman’s four-point stance. This was purely a strength event with each player being strongly cheered and urged on by his teammates.
Another strength event and one that caused a lot of loud interaction from the spectators was the four-man tire pull. This event called for two members from each school to hold on to a tire. The event was a tug of war to see which school could pull the other school’s players across the line. The starting point was the center of a ten-yard square. It took much pulling and tugging, twisting and turning to get the job done. At times it was hard to tell how the action was progressing. The players would be turned upside down and down side up, it was as much a wrestling match as a tug of war. The pulling was intense and humorous at the same time.
The last event was an obstacle course, which was worth double points. The course was run against the clock for time. The course started with the high stepping through tires laid on the ground, then to a tire flip, then going under an arch, next involved stepping over obstacles on the ground, then going over a hurdle, under a hurdle and over the third hurdle. The finish to the course was another farmer’s walk.
There were two teams from each school, they were designated Bridge City One and Bridge City Two and Orangefield One and Orangefield Two.
At the end of competition the score was tied for first place with Bridge City One and Orangefield One at 24 points each. Bridge City Two was in second place with 18 points. Orangefield Two placed third with four points.
Orangefield Head Coach Blake Morrison said, "I am very proud of my guys, they are very hard workers and a great bunch to work with, they did a great job today."
Coaches from both schools hope to make the challenge an annual event.
Before the lineman’s challenge there was another event, the Lift-A-Thon.
Coach Jeremy Simmons said, "this was held as a fund raiser for new equipment for the weight room. The guys on the powerlifting team got pledges of so much money for each pound they lifted. They all did well with the fundraising and the amount of weight they lifted."
The lifting was done at the stadium before the lineman’s challenge started. It was an exhibition of the powerlifting team?s abilities. One accomplishment was that of Jason Breaux who made his personal best lift of 275 pounds in the bench press. There is a possibility that the Lift-A-Thon will be held annually also.