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Riverside's offensive line is an eclectic group

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Dylan Taylor has a motor that doesn't stop, a trait that is obvious to anyone who talks to him.
 

Dylan Taylor has a motor that doesn't stop, a trait that is obvious to anyone who talks to him.

 



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Cris Burdette is back for his senior season after being sidelined with injuries as a sophomore and junior.
 
 

Cris Burdette is back for his senior season after being sidelined with injuries as a sophomore and junior.

 

 



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Stefan Garber, a 2014 all-region selection, is the heart and soul of the Warriors'  line.
 
 

Stefan Garber, a 2014 all-region selection, is the heart and soul of the Warriors'  line.

 

 



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Riverside's offensive line is an eclectic group.

One is a gym rat, one a maniac, as described by Head Coach Phil Smith, and another is a quiet leader. Together, though, they make up the heartbeat of a young Warriors team looking to accomplish big things.

The casual fan might not know the names Dylan Taylor, Cris Burdette, and Stephan Garber, but Smith wants to change that.

• Riverside players and bios.

"They're a great group of guys that don't get a lot of recognition and I think it's important because they are the heart and soul of our offense, and really our team," Smith said. If you don't score points you don't win the game."

Each lineman has a different personality. Taylor has a motor that doesn't stop, a trait that is obvious to anyone who talks to him.

"We protect people," Taylor said. "That's what we do. We might not get called on the intercom every night but we're going to protect our friends. It's all about having each other's back, just knowing each other, knowing each others' strengths and passions. It's really good what we've got going on."

"He's the maniac of the group," Smith joked.

Cris Burdette is hoping to make an impact after missing his sophomore and junior seasons due to injury. Last year he was sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon but is back and healthy. Burdette said the only gratitude the offensive line needs is when a teammate scores a touchdown.

"It's something we take pride in," he said. "Probably the best thing we do for gratitude is knowing that you protected your teammates and seeing someone in the end-zone."

"We're grateful Dylan is back and one hundred percent healthy," Smith said. "As hard as he's worked in the weight room to prepare himself for this season physically is great. We're looking for good things out of him."

Stephan Garber is the heart and soul of the Warriors' line. The 2014 all-region center is a stalwart and brings a quiet confidence to the field that teammates rally around. Garber attributes a meaner attitude on Friday nights for Riverside's renewed gridiron success last year. He doesn't expect anything to change this year.

"We got a lot more nasty last year," Garber, a senior, said. "We got more physical. We wanted to carry that over to this year. I think we have come so far from what we've seen in jamborees."

Though they may be different on the surface, the leaders of line all march to the same beat when they put on a Warriors uniform. That cohesiveness, however, isn't exclusive to the football field. They are close off of it as well.

"These guys are my friends and I've played with them forever," Taylor said.

Burdette said, "It's a team effort and the whole line contributes."

Riverside lost it opener to Eastside last week and plays at cross-town rival Greer on Friday.

 

 

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