Competition & Encouragement

Coaches always say that games are won and lost in the trenches but most spend the offseason and summer sending their “skill” players to passing camps and 7v7 tournaments.  That is why I started my OLine Clinics over 20 years ago, and why we host a Strongman Competition and OLine Challenge at our annual Northeast Kingdom 7v7 tournament.

The Strongmen compete in the following events:

1. Log Press (Max Reps in 1 Minute)

2. Farmer Carry (Best time)

3. Hexbar Deadlift (Max Reps for 1 minute)

4. Seated Sled Pull (Best time)

Our OLine Challenge has 5-man teams competing in the following events:

1. Standing Slam ball Toss (Total distance)

2. 1-man Sled Drive Relay (Best time)

3. Tire Flip Relay (Best time)

4. Sandbag Carry Relay (Best time)

5. Team Tug-of-War (Seeded Single Elimination)

While I am proud to say that one of our guys was the overall winner in the Strongman competition and our team won the OLine Challenge, I am more proud of how spirited the event was throughout the day.  The 7v7 games were very competitive, but the competition at times was contentious.  The Strongman and OLine Challenge events were also very competitive but players from different schools were all very supportive of each other.  Players wearing a rainbow of colors representing schools from all over Vermont and one from New Hampshire circled around each other and cheered as individuals they may have never met pushed themselves to the limits and beyond in the spirit of competition.

There is truly something special about offensive linemen.  Simply stated, they are selfless. That’s not to say others can’t be selfless as well, but as we’ve noted previously, the nature of the roles on the offensive line often rewards selfless interdependence more frequently and more consistently than other positions. Some roles tend to be more “supporting,” while others tend to be more “supported.” It was great to see the OLinemen “supporting” each other throughout the competitions.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!  

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