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Jesuit offensive line carries on tradition

The names, faces and general circumference of the Jesuit offensive line have changed since last season.

The mentality of the Crusader trenchmen and the Jesuit offensive philosophy, however, have not. Jesuit will still try to disintegrate opponents and make them beg for mercy with their pound-the-rock attitude. This season’s group of big hogs — led by center Charlie Landgraf, guard David Burgato and tackle Michael Moore — is eager to prove they can carry on the customs set down before them.

Therefore, “The Franchise” as the Jesuit’s offensive line calls themselves, isn’t going anywhere.

“I think people are kind of looking down on us, but I think it’s going to be a great year. I think it’s going to be even better than last year,” said Miller. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit offensive lineman Mike Martin said he expects the Crusaders to be even better than last season.

Gone are five seniors who averaged 6-foot-5, 288 pounds apiece. Four of those seniors are currently suiting up for Division One schools, including the University of Oregon’s Doug Brenner and University of Washington’s Andrew Kirkland. Jesuit put out an offensive line that cleared sizable holes in the run game and formed an unbreakable shell around the pocket. That once-in-a-decade unit, which helped Jesuit reach the 6A state championship, set the beam exceedingly high for a program that’s churned its fair share of giants.

This year’s unit won’t be as big or acclaimed as its predecessors. The great equalizer, however, for this season’s redesigned Jesuit o-line has been the weight room. Henry Mondeaux said the Crusaders have been getting after it this summer, working out five days a week. They’ve been jointly power lifting to gain more explosion off the snap, tweaking their fast twitch muscles with plyometrics and adding layers of muscle that are pivotal late in the season. Jesuit’s showing at the Metro Linemen Challenge did little to discredit the tight end’s claim, either.

Burgato tied for the team high mark in the 185-pound bench press competition, repping the weight a whopping 25 times. Mondeaux pumped out 21 reps, and Miller churned out 16. Mondeaux ran a 4.39 shuttle run, and the 255-pound Burgato ran a 4.62, good for 19th overall at the challenge. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit fullback Zach Anctil was a late addition to the Metro Lineman Challenge but was one of the Crusaders standouts in the physical challenges.

“We’re obviously not going to have the same size that we did last year, but I think we’re replacing that with a lot of speed and a lot of endurance and athleticism.” said Brugato. “We’ll definitely be able to run on the outside more with the speed we have and not just focus on the inside runs. There’s a lot more diversity.”

Fullback Zach Anctil and running back Joey Alfieri joined their offensive line mates at the Metro Challenge and threw up some of the more impressive results of the day. Anctil matched Burgato’s bench press mark with 25 reps, notched the third-highest vertical jump of the whole camp and flipped the 350-pound tire 13 times.

“That was really unexpected, I surprised myself today,” said Anctil. “It’s just fun being out here with all my teammates. I came out here not expecting to compete, but I like that the MAG’s are rolling.”

Mondeaux won the tire flip with 16, and Alfieri tied for second with 15. Alifieri set multiple individual records in the event, including the 40-yard dash, the shuttle run, the vertical jump and the broad jump.

“We work really hard,” said Anctil. “We have optional plyos on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and you see everyone showing up which says a lot about our team. On the weekends, on the Fourth of July, everybody was still in there. We’re trying to put in the work to be the best we can.”

Across the board there wasn’t a noticeable drop-off in talent or ability in the midst of the Metro Challenge’s activities. The Crusaders come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re all adept at playing four or even five positions along the line.

Opponents have been known to stack the box against Ken Potter’s rushing attack, but Jesuit’s big measurements make that plan of action just about ineffectual.by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit tight end Henry Mondeaux won the tire flip at the Metro Linemen Challenge with 13 attempts.

“We run a lot, and we just to push, push, push and never let up,” said Miller. “We’re a fourth-quarter team, and that’s just our mentality — hard work. Hard work pays off. We want to be that team when the ball’s on the one-yard line, it’s fourth down, and there’s no time on the clock, we have to punch it in. We’ll do that this year, and I think that’s our mentality going in.”

Mondeaux is listed as a tight end on Jesuit’s roster, but he’ll be the first to acknowledge he’s primarily a blocker who can pulverize defensive ends and linebackers on the second level of the defense.

“We run so much that I’m basically an offensive lineman,” said Mondeaux. “I work out with these guys every day, so it makes sense to be out here with them. We still have a lot of work to do, a lot of conditioning, camps and plays to put in, but it’s going to be a good year.”

Miller says the big hogs along the line have lot of expectations to meet, but they’re willing to step into the shoes left by their esteemed seniors. Miller said the front five plans on upholding the Jesuit offensive line tradition with hard work and preparation. The senior said the Crusaders still keep in contact with former Jesuit trenchmen, who pass along blocking tips and supply motivation to get in the weight room.

“This is our year, we feel like,” said Miller. “It’s time to come out, make a statement, and do it together. We all know that, we all think that, so that’s why it’s fun we’re doing this together because we have great chemistry.”




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