Where's beef? At South Carroll Cavs' offensive line is really big story

October 08, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

All the beef in Carroll County isn't grazing in the fields.

Some of it lines up every Friday night for the South Carroll football team and blows away defensive lines with old-fashioned drive blocking, opening holes for bull-like running back Mike Dodd.

"It's Woody Hayes' three yards and a cloud of dust," said Cavaliers offensive line coach Joe Foltz. "What we're running isn't that complicated. We have strong people on the line, and they're just blocking the people in front of them."

Blowing them away would be a better way to put it.

Meet the South Carroll offensive line, which averages 238 pounds.

At right tackle is 6-foot-5, 280-pound senior Jamie Waltersdorff, whose dream is to play for Florida State or Miami.

At left tackle is 6-1, 255-pound senior Mike Johnson, who is playing his first year of organized football.

At center is 5-11, 215-pound senior Paul Weinhardt, who helped talk Johnson into coming out for football this season.

At right guard is 5-11, 220-pound senior Chris Nave, who gave up his running back spot to Dodd and moved to the offensive line.

At left guard is 5-7, 220-pound Mike Arterburn, the "little guy" of the bunch.

The blockers are doing such an impressive job that the Cavaliers are 4-1 and talking seriously about a chance to win the Central Maryland Conference championship.

South Carroll could take a major step toward that title if it beats preseason favorite Linganore tomorrow

night in a CMC showdown at South Carroll at 7:30.

Also, Waltersdorff and company have been so superb in the first five games that they've been promised a free dinner at the Sizzler restaurant when the season is over.

That dinner will be compliments of Dodd, who is big enough (6-3, 237) to play on the line if he were not such an outstanding runner.

"These guys are unbelievable," said Dodd. "I couldn't ask more from them. In the first scrimmage of the season, against Smithsburg, the holes were so big for me to run through that I couldn't believe it. They deserve a free dinner on me."

The dinner promise has resulted in some good-natured ribbing around the Cavaliers' team.

"The boys better get that dinner promise in writing," said Chris Nave's mother, Judie, who is a booster of the football team. "I'll believe it when I see it. Can you imagine how much guys like Jamie Waltersdorff can eat?"

The thought brought a smile to Waltersdorff's face.

"I'm looking forward to that dinner," he said. "I believe Mike will do it."

Dodd has rambled for 688 yards and nine touchdowns in the first five games, carrying the ball 137 times. He has received most of the headlines, but no one has been able to overlook the offensive line.

Foltz has molded these five players into a strong unit, even though he didn't know for sure seven weeks ago if the two biggest members, Waltersdorff and Johnson, were going to play this season.

"We didn't even know we were going to have a [big] line this year," said Weinhardt. "We weren't sure if Jamie was going to play and Johnson had never played before."

Waltersdorff said his senior season was being threatened by a need to work to pay his car insurance. "I always wanted to play this year," he said. "But I had to get the work and insurance straightened out."

Waltersdorff nearly played on the varsity as a freshman before breaking his finger, sat out his sophomore season and started as a junior.

His mammoth size and football instincts are hereditary.

His uncle, Mike Fitzgerald, is 6-3, 265 pounds and played football at Lansdowne, and his brother-in-law, Dave Schade (6-3, 265), played at Cardinal Gibbons.

"I'd love to play football at a major college like Florida State, Miami or Penn State," said Waltersdorff. "I'm having a lot of fun this year, and playing against Linganore will be like a internal backyard battle. I know a lot of their players, especially their defensive end Chet Mitchell, who is a pretty big boy. It's going to be a challenge to go against him."

Waltersdorff said last week's 35-6 victory over North Carroll prepared him for the powerful Linganore team that is regarded as one of the best in the state.

"Most teams hit me straight up, but North Carroll figured I was too big for that, so they tried to stunt around me," he said. "Linganore will also try to run stunts on me. We haven't beaten Linganore since 1986, but we really believe we have a good chance this year."

Seeing Waltersdorff and his offensive line mates this season has brought back memories of the mid-1980s at South Carroll when the school had two other giant linemen.

One of those was 6-8, 354-pound right tackle Mike Mooney, who went on to play for four years at Georgia Tech and has been reunited with coach Bobby Ross this season on the San Diego Chargers after being drafted by the Houston Oilers.

The other lineman was left tackle Tim Sullivan, 6-1, 250.

Now the beef is back at South Carroll.

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