Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

November 28, 2013

Linemen Sutliff, Hartford lead Andover into Thanksgiving Day battle

Linemen Sutliff, Hartford trot Andover into Thanksgiving Day battle

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In his first high school football season, he was a member of the freshman team, then as a sophomore he was on the offensive and defense line for the JV team.

Then, one year later, after a growth spurt that saw him grow 5 inches and add 30 pounds of muscle, Sutliff found himself a key member of last year’s MVC Division 1 title team.

“I remember going to camp and thinking, ‘All this hard work has to pay off,’” he said. “To earn the starting left tackle jump was really nerve-wracking. I was protecting C.J. Scarpa’s back. But I got used to it and it was really exciting.”

As the Golden Warriors’ offense rolled to record-setting numbers, confidence quickly built in Sutliff.

“Sutliff is big and really tough,” his running back, Jack Sylvester, said. “Every game he brings it. He’s also a little crazy and likes to tell me every time he gets a pancake block. He’s great to run behind.”

After an offseason of working out alongside Hartford, and now standing 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, Sutliff stepped right back into that position this fall as the stalwart of the offensive front.

“He is the best offensive lineman that we have,” Hartford said. “Last year was his developmental year, and he worked so hard to be the best he could be and has done great. He has been huge.”

The articulate senior with the 275-pound bench press, who is looking at schools such as Hobart to play college football, has also been a mentor to the other linemen.

“Sutliff is our leader,” Tully said. “He brings us all together, and if we have questions, he is the guy that will listen and help.”

The tackle machine

When asking teammates about defensive lineman Ben Hartford, a three-year varsity starter, one word kept being used.

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