Claremore's Blake Bacon (57) clears the way for running back Jace Hightower (5) against Edison on Sept. 20 at Lantow Field. 

It takes a different kind of toughness to be an offensive lineman.

These players don’t get the glamour of scoring touchdowns or compiling headline-stealing stats, but they are reliable and necessary for any team to succeed. Without a dedicated group of linemen, those glory plays don’t happen.

Now is Rogers County fans’ chance to give their favorite big men the recognition they deserve.

VYPE Oklahoma recently launched its Offensive Linemen Fan’s Choice poll for each area of the state, and Claremore’s Blake Bacon, Jax Ridenour of Verdigris and Inola’s Jed Barrett are among the local athletes gracing the ballot for the Pryor-412 hub in the northeast region.

Bacon helped the Zebras accumulate 345.7 yards per game as a sophomore guard last season. Claremore averaged 222.8 yards passing and 122.9 yards rushing on the way to a 6-5 record.

The Cardinals experienced great offensive success as well thanks to a strong offensive line that included assists from a junior Ridenour.

Verdigris averaged about 405.8 yards while scoring 42.7 points, lighting teams up for 208.9 yards passing and 196.8 yards rushing per game on the way to a 10-3 record.

Barrett, who also holds kicking responsibilities for the Longhorns, helped a potent Inola offense average 30.6 points per game that culminated in a 6-5 record.

Voting for this poll will close at 8 p.m. July 2, and the Fan’s Choice and Editor’s Choice team will be published in the August issue of VYPE Northeast.

Voting schedules for each position are as follows:

QB: June 16-23

WR/TE: June 18-25

RB: June 22-29

OL: June 24-July 1

LB: July 6-13

DB: July 8-15

DL: July 10-17

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