Steven Broom understands his role on the offensive and defensive line and wants to do what he can to help the Whitmire Wolverines succeed.
Offense is his strong suit and that's where Broom will be needed most as the team lost linemen to graduation. The OL has three returners, including Ethan Campbell and Alan Glenn. Coaches need them to lead and help younger players progress.
“Steven is our only senior offensive lineman, so he's a big part of getting our line to gel,” said line coach Dan McGlohorn. “We need him to be a leader on the team. He's a very smart player and is very good technique-wise. He brings a lot in getting the line together and helping the younger guys in practice. That's one of the most underrated things about a player. You look at their physical ability a lot of times, but Steven brings that to the table and leadership. He tries to teach the younger guys and make everybody better.”
Coaches need the younger guys to step up and are trying to fill holes. The team is working hard to get better.
“It starts up front,” said head coach Donald Addis. “We've got three returning, but we're awfully inexperienced. Our season, offensively, is going to depend on how well that offensive line comes together and starts gelling. We're depending on Steven and the other two starters to bring the other guys along.”
The offensive line is Broom's strong suit. He's played on the line all his career, even in recreation league.
“Steven has been in our program since the seventh grade, playing JV and all the way up,” said Addis. “He's a leader of our offensive line and a hard worker. Anything you ask him to do, he does it. He never gripes or complains. He just goes out and does his job. He practices well and prepares himself well. He's one of our hardest workers in the weight room. He's a real bright young man.”
Broom said he's up to the task at hand.
“A lot of the younger kids are looking up to the seniors now, picking up what we do and following as we play,” he said. “I'd like to say that I bring some unity to the line. We lost good people from last year and are looking to replace them. We're looking pretty good this year, filling in good and blocking well.”
Despite how much Broom means to the team, he's not used to interviews with the media.
“All the coaches say we're not going to get any credit and we really don't,” said Broom. “It's all given to the backs and receivers in the newspapers, but if you go back to it, it all has to do with us blocking and we're the ones that should be getting some of the credit.”
Broom does feel good when he sees the backs racking up the yards.
“It makes us look good,” he said. “If it wasn't for us none of that would be possible.”
Broom also will contribute on the defensive line. Coaches believe this group is a stronger unit.
“Wherever they need me, I'll go,” he said. “Offense, you just have to focus on your man and block. Defense, you've got to go a lot harder. It takes more out of you. On the line, you don't get a lot of credit on defense either. You're mainly getting the line out of the way, so linebackers can make plays. The line is the core of the team, but doesn't get a lot of glory.”
But glory does come as a team. Last year, the Wolverines went 10-2 and won the region title. It was the most wins since 1978 and first conference crown since 1981.
“It made me feel good, doing something special with my high school career,” he said. “It really brought the town together.”
This year, the Wolverines look to continue where they left off.
“We have a lot of potential,” he said. “It's just coming together and playing as a team.”
Did you know? Broom plays at first base and as pitcher for the WHS baseball team. He is a good student, part of the Beta Club. He coaches recreation ball teams.