Lawrence is the Iron Man in the Gridiron's Trenches
Published 10/30/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 10/30/2013 01:41 PM
Chuck Bednarik made his mark for the Philadelphia Eagles by playing both sides of the football. His current counterpart may be Guilford's Dane Lawrence.
Starting with football in the 4th grade, Dane stayed on the gridiron all the way to high school. After spending more time in the weight room lifting during the winter of his sophomore year, the senior has proven his strength by manning both the offensive and defensive lines each game for the Indians the last two seasons.
"It's been a good experience that has taught me a lot and it has been challenging, certainly," says Dane, who has collected 39 tackles (24 solo) in two seasons. "It takes quite a bit of endurance, but I have put a lot of work into it during the offseason lifting. It can be tiring at times, but you just have to dig down within yourself and push through."
Thanks to a rigorous workout routine, Dane has been able to carry needed bulk for both his duties in the trenches.
"I lift year-round and try to lift four days a week during the spring and summer," Dane says. "In the gym, I do squats, bench presses, cleaning, and dead lifting. I also have been doing some agility training outside. I do some long distance running, but not that much, along with 100-yard sprints and gassers."
Eyeing those gym hours is Head Coach Tom Unger, who feels Dane holds all the right skills for his size.
"Dane has been a consistent hard worker the past four years for us," says Unger. "There are a lot of 6-foot, 230-pound linemen out there, but not too many with the combination of strength and agility of Dane. He has progressed extremely well each year and really is great to coach. He has really maximized his time in the weight room to be the best he can be. He is one of our few 300-plus-pound bench pressers, which really helps him dominate up front on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. His footwork has gotten better each season. He has worked hard with numerous other drills to get quicker and faster. He has played all of the offensive line positions, but has really settled into right tackle this season. He plays the 3-tech in our four-man front defense, arguably the most important spot of the front seven."
Dane knew the double time would be a grind, although he knows the right way to gear up for each assignment.
"I just knew I would have to challenge myself to step up and get the job done," says Dane. "Preparing to play offensive line is much more laid back. You just have to keep calm and know what you have to do each play. On defense, you have to be strong, physical, and make a decent amount of reads quickly based on what the offense shows you."
As one who sees the snap from two different angles, Dane discusses his approach to playing each of his line positions.
"The differences are that, for the offensive line, you have to know the play and the snap count, but on defense you have to plan as hard as you can while not knowing what's coming," Dane says. "When you do well, you are in control of the game and clock. A good offensive lineman has to be smart and somewhat calmer versus defense, where you have to be fast and strong to get off the ball for tackles."
As the Indians look for a SCC Division II West crown, Dane's concern is giving 100 percent for his squad.
?We have to go all out the rest of the way in playing winnable games," says Dane, who thanks mother Maribeth and Coach Unger. "[Division rival] Hillhouse will be challenging with its speed, plus Hand will be tough. We look at every game as a chance that we have to take. For me, I'm not looking for awards. I'm just worried about being in the trenches and doing my job."