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Unheralded Kings

Offensive and defensive linemen are becoming recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Junior+Joe+Bianchi+holds+the+hammer+with+pride+after+receiving+it+for+the+second+time.
Junior Joe Bianchi holds the hammer with pride after receiving it for the second time.

Junior Joe Bianchi holds the hammer with pride after receiving it for the second time.

@papiofootball

@papiofootball

Junior Joe Bianchi holds the hammer with pride after receiving it for the second time.

Kenzie Ward, Staff Writer

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Most teams have a sense of tradition that grows throughout each season. The Papillion-La Vista football team is no different when it comes to cherishing theirs. 

A tradition carried over to Papio three years ago, the King of the Trenches, is rewarded to the player that proves they have what it takes to be a good player and an even better teammate on and off the field. 

“Winning the King of the Trenches is a big deal because only the linemen who does the best in the game gets it,” junior football player Joe Bianchi said. We don’t take turns, you have to earn it.”  

Throughout the plays, coaches examine the players and see who plays with not only their heart, but the amount of pancakes they get in a game. 

“A pancake is when you block a guy and you drive him so long that he ends up on the ground,” Bianchi said. 

A component coaches take into consideration is the way the players act in the game. Whether they’re down by twenty points or two, they look for the players who fight until the end. 

“They must be tenacious. They have to be a finisher. We look for guys that preach tenacity. We pick guys that go out every single play,” assistant football coach Shawn Blevins said. 

Bianchi has been rewarded with the hammer two times. Receiving the hammer makes Bianchi feel honored and proud knowing all his hard work has paid off. 

“The best part of the King of the Trenches is that it is only for the linemen so [while] the receivers get their name in the paper, we get to carry the hammer down for the following game,” Bianchi said. 

Before the tradition started for the Papio football team, the idea started at Westside ten years before. The players find it as motivation to play hard each game. 

“[King of the Trenches] is a way to celebrate a lineman. We usually don’t get statistics. The other positions usually get carries and catches and passes but they’re always recognized,” Blevins said. “It’s just a way to recognize the offensive and defensive linemen who usually don’t have those stats.” 

A player can earn it as many times during the season. The coaches look for those who deserve it, not just those who have not gotten the reward. 

“You can earn it more than once. We try to spread it around a bit but it’s really just whoever has the biggest impact in a game,” Blevins said. “There have been a couple of people who have earned it twice this year.” 

The coaches believe that the players hard work should be rewarded and they hold the King of the Trenches to a high standard. The position is something that must be earned. 

“We try to glorify that position because the line is the most important position on the field,” Blevins said. “Without a good offensive defensive lineman we wouldn’t have a very good football team.” 

While the tradition carries on throughout the years, the players strive to earn what is known as the reward for the motivated linemen and who work with their teammates both on and off the field.

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About the Writer
Kenzie Ward, Staff Writer

Kenzie Ward is a junior and is a second-year Scepter staff member. She has competed in all-star cheer for 10 years and is involved in Circle of Friends.

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