The Wildcats’ defensive linemen are being coached this season by veteran coach Jason Meskimen. After several seasons of coaching Wildcats’ freshmen, Coach Meskimen was promoted to the Varsity staff during the off season. Meskimen, whose coaching resume spans 25 years, says the 2020 Wildcats D linemen are an experienced bunch. Out of 8 or 9 players, six are seniors. Senior defensive tackle D’Andre Peoples and senior nose guard Alex Rodriguez were starters last year and defensive tackles junior Bryton Ruhter and senior Koben Wyly and senior nose guard Kohlson Ivey also earned lots of playing time. Last year’s starting center senior Steven Jonaitis has moved to the nose guard position. Sophomore Nick Cantillo, perhaps the largest of the Wildcats in the defensive line, is also playing both guard and tackle spots. Coach Meskimen says there is a lot of competition for playing time among the group. He says he likes coaching the defensive lineman. He was a defensive linemen himself in his playing days. He says he has focused on having players learn both guard and tackle responsibilities to increase depth and flexibility and hopefully to keep players fresher. Coach Meskimen says there is no substitute for experience and he says his seniors are providing leadership for younger players on and off the field. Coach Meskimen says the defensive line is perhaps a bit undersized but he says he expects them to make up for that with their speed. Plus he says their technique and discipline have gotten a lot better and he adds they have good work ethic.
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