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[/media-credit]At the back of the pack, senior Reed Harbour is losing ground to his fellow offensive linemen. The team is doing their traditional set of sprints — starting at the sideline, running to the first set of hashes and back, half way and back, next set of hashes and back and and finally clear to the other sideline and back. Harbour moves his size 16 Adidas cleats forward, lugging his 6-foot-6-inch, 330-pound figure across the East practice field. Slowly and steadily, he finishes every sprint. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t make excuses. He just runs.
“I hold myself to a different standard, and push over that,” Harbour said. “I don’t want to be the special guy.”
Harbour first toured East last spring as a transfer from Mill Valley. His future teammates had heard rumors of a new lineman, but were in awe when they first saw him one morning during training.
“Sherman is not exactly a huge guy, but Reed just made him look so tiny from a distance,” senior David Sosna said. “We were all saying ‘there’s no way that’s him, there’s no way.’”
The rumors turned out to be true, and soon enough the team was custom-ordering number 70 home and away jerseys and pads that would serve as armor for a small army. Harbour was officially apart of the Lancer football team.
In the beginning, Harbour found encounters with his teammates awkward. He was shy, and at times didn’t know what to say.Harbour is no rookie to being the new guy. In his four years of high school he’d been to three different schools. He found that all had the same rule in common — if you’re nice to the people around you, they’ll treat you with respect.
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[/media-credit]“It’s a new experience each time,” Harbour said. “Sometimes it can be a bad experience, but most of time I’ve found that people are open and welcoming.”
Harbour began to mesh quickly with his teammates. They noticed his never-quit attitude in conditioning on the field. One day during practice, the varsity squad was working on offensive plays. While running a screen pass, Harbour took care of his first block to protect the quarterback. After the ball was thrown out wide, he carried his body 15 extra yards downfield. Sticking out his arm, Harbour covered the entire face mask of some innocent, third string linebacker and shoved him straight into the dirt.
“[The team] was getting pumped up because he was 15 yards down the field making a block for us,” Sosna said. “But of course he was right there to pick him up when the play was over.”
Even at size, Harbour never quits a workout. He pushes through the running, even when he’s hanging towards the back. In games, once his necessary blocks are taken care of, Harbour looks to take down other opponents to open up holes for his teammates. After playing every offensive series, Harbour steps in on the defensive side, taking up blockers to help his teammates pressure the quarterback.
Along with the work ethic, Harbour had a great sense of humor. During weights, his teammates started to poke at him for the “barking” sound he makes while powering through the lift. It instantly became a hit in the lockerroom. The sound transformed into the spelling of ‘BUP’ and became used frequently with his friends and teammates. Harbour took on the joke without any embarrassment. Instead he embraced it, and began using it on Twitter.
Coming into the season, the Lancers’ offensive line was one of the biggest question marks. With the losses of Sam Heneger, Tyson Nelson, Connor Carollo and Dylan Brett, the Lancers had to virtually rebuild their line. After a 3-0 start to the season, the untrained eye wouldn’t have noticed a difference from last year to this year’s offense. If anything Harbour along with seniors Will Short and Max Kurlbaum and juniors Sage Thompson and Dominique Atkinson have stepped up the standard of the offense. In their three wins, the line has helped senior quarterback Jordan Darling to 601 yards and five touchdowns.
Harbour felt as if he has taken the role of that signature “big guy” on the team — taking control of blocks, being intimidating and roughing up the opposition — the kind of role that brings an offensive line together. But as always, respect comes first.
“I feel like I’m that big guy on the offensive line that takes over and becomes a leader,” Harbour said. “But what comes first is respecting other people, and I always keep that in mind and always treat others the way they would want to be treated.”
Even if Harbour may be that guy you want getting off of the bus first in order to get glances of shock from the opposition, he’s not a mean guy. He may bounce his teammates to the ground when attempting celebratory chest bumps, or shrug off some of the best defensive backs in the league but his heart is just as big as his size 16 shoes.