Quarterbacks throw, running backs run, receivers catch the ball.  They're the football players that get all of the attention.  But there are other players on the field that make all of that possible - it's the linemen.  They're the ones who protect the quarterback, allowing him to throw the ball so that the receiver can catch the ball and open the holes so that the running back can run the ball.  They're the players that work in the treches.

Jeremiah Sanders - 2017 Trench Trophy winner (Dale Mussen photo)

The annual Trench Trophy awards are designed to recognize the high school football linemen who often get overlooked.  This year's Trench Trophy Banquet was held Wednesday night at the Lancaster Elks Club.  From among 12 finalists Jeremiah Sanders of South Park High School was selected as this year's Trench Trophy winner - emblematic of the best high school  lineman in Western New York. Nominations are taken from more than 40 scouts each year.  The nominations are then whittled down to the final 12.  In addition to Sanders, the other finalists were:

  • Manny Al-Hemyari - Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles
  • Joe Andreesen - Lancaster Legends
  • Sam Arrington - Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles
  • Terrance Bass - Cheektowaga Warriors
  • Jake Calo - Lancaster Legends
  • Brad Claycomb - West Seneca West Indians
  • Jordan Holmes - North Tonawanda Lumberjacks
  • Will McGennis - Canisius Crusaders
  • Kyle Schreader - Starpoint Spartans
  • Tariq Whitaker - Cheektowaga Warriors
  • Walt Woodarek - Franklinville/Ellicottvlle Titans

Among the guest speakers at Wednesday night's banquet were former NFL line coach and Kenmore native Jim McNally and Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.