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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Linemen, football's unsung heroes, will be in the spotlight on Tuesday, July 9, when Shawnee Heights hosts its annual "Battle of the Bigs'' lineman challenge (5:30 p.m. start).

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The "Battle of the Bigs'' is billed as an opportunity for offensive and defensive linemen to have fun over the summer in a non-contact competition. 

Appoximately 85 linemen representing seven city and area high schools took part in the 2023 Battle of the Bigs, competing in a variety of drills/activities while vying for individual and team prizes.

ChristianGonzalesBattleofBig 1Former Shawnee Heights football standout Christian Gonzales participates in last summer's Battle of the Bigs. [File photo/TSN]

JacobHawksBattleofBig 1Washburn Rural senior Jacob Hawks takes part in the 2023 Battle of the Bigs at Shawnee Heights. [File photo/TSN]

"We do it because the skill guys get to have fun all summer and the linemen, all they do is push sleds and work in the weight room, so we see this as kind of a way to reward the linemen and kind of create that unity in their unit,'' Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift said. "They always say they have a great time.

"We wanted to do something fun for the linemen. Linemen are always like, 'How come we don't get to do 7 on 7, how come we don't get to do stuff?' So that's why we put this together: 'Let's make it a fun day, non-contact, but competitive. More importantly, we want to help build that brotherhood inside the trenches.''

The top eight individuals will win visor or bucket hats and the team with the highest five-player total will win a plaque for their school.  Cost is $20 per person, which includes the lineman challenge, a T-shirt and food.

Participating athetes will take 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.

Registration will begin at 5 p.m. on the 9th. Checks should be made payable to Shawnee Heights football.

For more information contact Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift at 913-908-7878.

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