Ponce draws from past to excel Oilers

2011-08-19T00:00:00Z 2011-08-19T01:20:13Z Ponce draws from past to excel OilersBy Paul Honeycutt Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 19, 2011 12:00 am  • 

WHITING | There have been many torches passed down from quarterbacks like Matt Kobli to Will Dumezich, receivers like Brock Vale to Juwan Simmons, and running backs like Emerik Quiroz to Noe Torres.

No one talks about the torch being passed down to the lineman, though.

Last year, the line was senior-heavy and bulldozed its way to help a Whiting offense average more than 20 points per game.

Whether it was run or pass, the line rarely made any mistakes and Whiting coach Jeff Cain said before last season that both lines were the strength of the team.

The 2011 Oilers will have to look for a new leader on the line. Enter Jorge Ponce.

One of only five seniors on the team, Ponce is the only returning lineman on either side of the ball.

He isn't worried, though, because he has learned from the players before him in 2011 graduates Luis Lozaro and Fernando Sahagun.

"Last year, I'd look for others to lean on and I learned the plays and blocking schemes from the more experienced linemen," the two-year starter said.

With the four new lineman and a new, more sophisticated offensive system under recently-returned coordinator Jim Verta, it will be more of a challenge than before for Ponce.

He doesn't care, though, as he embraces the pressure that will mount over the duration of the season.

"I enjoy taking on that role," Ponce said. "It motivates me to teach the new guys what to do."

Cain thinks Ponce is perfect for the leadership role because he has experienced more situations than his teammates.

"He's been through the wars," Cain said. "It's hard to teach youth, but his experience from the past will help him because he knows how to react in certain situations."

Ponce has two main goals: to win sectionals and to make people think he was a big part of it when his Whiting career is all said and done.

"We haven't won in a while and I want to win one before I leave," Ponce said. "When my career is through, I want people to think I helped out in every way and taught kids."

 

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