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Pitmans Paul Medina will play huge role on Prides O-line
Pitman cutout pic
Paul Medina isn’t taking lightly his position as the left guard. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal

One of the most important things Pitman High football coach Brandon Harris and his assistants do before the first game isn’t picking out who the quarterback and running backs will be. Those positions will eventually fall into place.

What they’re most concerned about is filling every spot on the offensive line with qualified talent. Size does matter, but the player also has to be smart, quick and hard-working.

And Paul Medina isn’t taking lightly his position as the left guard.

“I worked at it,” he said. “And now, I’m starting this year.”

In 2009, he did not see much playing time, though Harris stated, “He’d have been ready to go last year if it came to that.” Medina was restricted to the sideline, where he took everything in. He watched the Pitman’s O-line dominate, as the Pride averaged nearly 400 offensive yards per game and made enough running room for then-senior Markus Sanders to rush for more than 1,600 yards.

But Medina enjoyed every moment, knowing he’d eventually have his turn.

He’s 6 feet and 205 pounds, and he admits that he’s not the strongest guy on the line. During the offseason, he and his fellow linemen worked on their footwork, speed and endurance, things that he believe will help the Pride overcome bigger opponents.

Harris expects Medina to do well because the senior has a major upside: smarts.

“The first thing when we’re looking at kids and evaluating our team, (the offensive line) is what we take care of first,” Harris said. “We think about if we have to take a running back and move him to guard or take a linebacker and move him to guard. It all starts with the O-line. We want our smartest, best kids.”

Harris said this year’s group is faster and more cohesive.

“All of them are best buddies,” the coach said.

That’s a good thing for Medina, who has been an active figure in his community, as he’s known as a committed volunteer. He’s also the president of Youth Alive at Pitman High. Those experiences have helped him work with others.

“I hope I can bring a lot of compassion and cooperation between all of us, working together,” Medina said. “I hope I can be a leader in that way and encouraging my teammates.”

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.