One of the greatest challenges facing Hurricane this season will be rebuilding the offensive line. 4 of 5 starters from last season have graduated leaving only senior Center Cole Runion returning on the line. Runion 6-3, 265 pounds, knows he has to take a leadership role this season. "Playing alongside 4 seniors last year, I really was not all that vocal. this year I need to step up and be a leader."
Watching practice it is easy to see how Cole has emerged as that leader, helping his new OL mates in the huddle, at the line, and on the sidelines. "I have tried to be a role model all off season, through the winter in the weight room and now on the field, and in the locker room."
Although the Redskins line needs to be overhauled, Runion believes they are coming together, and likes what he sees so far. "Dalton (Geter) got some starts late in the season and is solid, (Michael) Watson is coming over from defense and should do fine." He would not mind seeing another player come over to the Offense side as well. "Blake Ross is a helluva lineman and would solidify our unit."
Runion was also quick to point out that the Redskins are working harder than ever this season. "I thought we got after it pretty well last year, but we are stepping it up even more now." Runion know the offense will have a different look this season, with several speed threats, but admits "we still need to be able to pound the ball and hit the defense in the mouth."
With Hurricane looking at one of the toughest schedules in the state, Runion knows the Redskins have to be ready for the get go. Hurricane's first opponent is long time cross county rival Winfield. There has actually been a lot of talk about a Winfield victory in this year's match-up. "There is something different about the taking the field against them, the huge crowd is crazy and it really gets us in that "Zone" and ready to play, it will be a tough game but I think will be ready and will win."
After our conversation, Runion showed way he IS a leader this season, as he put in some extra work, running a few 100 yarders prior to heading to the field house.