Bridgeport football Coach John Cole will tell you he likes and respects each of his players he’s had through the decades all the same. He’ll also tell you that he has a little bit of a soft spot for his linemen.
After all, Cole was a lineman who toiled for the legendary late Coach Wayne Jamison in the 1980s. He knows there’s not always a lot of glamour down in the trenches.
Late this morning, there was a chance for the spotlight to shine brightly on the line of the Indians during what is the end for them of the three-week summer practice session. For the first time ever, the Indians concluded the main part of their drills with a pizza-eating competition courtesy of Papa John’s Pizza here in Bridgeport.
“They were told they better not lose in an eating contest to backs,” joked Cole. “I also told the linemen and everyone else that eating is a weird thing. Sometimes, it’s not the biggest guy or the fattest guys who eat the most. Even with that I pleaded with them not to let the backs beat them in an eating contest.”
As it turned out, the backs didn’t get the job done. In the first of what Cole is hoping will be several Papa John’s contests each summer, the young men on the line got the job done.
In order to do the contest, each grade picked two backs and two linemen. That put eight individuals on each side of the competition with the goal to see who could eat three large pizzas and a big cookie the fastest.
The eight linemen that walked away winners included Peyton Henderson, Tanner Saltis, Philip Morgan, Josh Wojciechowicz, C.R. Coburn, Johnathan Allison, Quinn DeMotto and Brock Vincent. Henderson was thrilled with the win.
“I kept taking small bites and getting in as much pizza as I could,” said Henderson, who will be a junior this year. “I would take swigs of water to make it go down easier. We really didn’t want to lose to the backs because that would have been an embarrassment.”
Henderson said his contribution included four pieces of pizza. His biggest assist, he said, was eating the bulk of the cookie cake.
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