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When high school football practice for the 2024 season begins across the state on August 19, linemen will go back to laboring in relative obscurity.

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But Tuesday's Battle of the Bigs lineman challenge at Shawnee Heights, an annual event since 2017, was all about the men in the trenches.

"This is one of our largest ones,'' Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift said. "And you've got to credit schools like Highland Park and Topeka West who have definitely brought numbers, and then we've got schools from surrounding areas and a couple of Kansas City schools.''

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Approximately 90 linemen representing nine city and area high schools took part in the Battle of the Bigs, competing in a variety of drills/activities while vying for individual and team prizes.

"We do this to kind of celebrate the linemen,'' Swift said. "They don't get to do a lot of glorified stuff in the summer so this is an opportunity for them to compete and build some unity together and have fun.

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Participating athletes took part in nine measured events:

• 40-yard scoop and score.

• Tractor tire flip.

• Pro agility drill.

• 10-yard sled pull.

• 185-pound bench press for reps.

• Medicine ball toss.

• 10-yard sled drive.

• Pursuit drill.

• Obstacle course.

Top Six City Individuals

1. Hunter Diederich, Hayden, 186 points

2. Royce Daniels, Shawnee Heights, 179 points

3. Talan Olmsted, Highland Park, 178 points

4. Christian Hewitt, Shawnee Heights, 172 points

5. Evan Johnson, Shawnee Heights, 171 points

6. Dorian Rhoten, Topeka West, 169 points


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