By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
There are many talented linemen across our coverage area that features more than 60 teams. Below are some of the top linemen to watch this season
NOTE: Some worthy players may appear on one of our other four football watch lists. A player can only appear on one list.
This watchlist can be found in print in the Fall O-Zone Preview Magazine available this week at all southwest Missouri Casey’s General Stores.
Jesse Cassatt, Carl Junction
At just 200 pounds, Cassatt is undersized as a two-way lineman in the Central Ozark Conference, but that hasn’t stopped him from being extremely effective. His motor and leverage are elite at the high school level, which plays a major role in his success. Cassatt also is a state champion wrestler, which has served him well on the gridiron.
Alex Curry, Joplin
Entering last year, Joplin was attempting to replace its entire offensive line. Curry was one of the new faces who quickly proved more than capable of being a high-level player. He has great size at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, but he’s also extremely athletic. His pass protection is great and he’s solid against the run. The multi-sport athlete is yet another local lineman with several D-II offers and D-I interest.
Bobby Dale, Thayer
Thayer is perennially known as one of the most physical teams in the Ozarks, and this year will be no different thanks to Dale. At 5-foot-11, 300 pounds, he’s nearly impossible to move in the trenches. Offensively, they run behind him, and defensively, he commands double teams. He also plays with a mean streak that is rare at the high school level.
Grant Goltra, Webb City
After missing his entire sophomore season due to injury, Goltra bounced back in a major way with an all-conference, all-state junior campaign and a state title. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound versatile lineman has next-level size and strength, which has garnered him several offers and Division-I interest that’ll only grow with another big year.
Aiden Logan, Carthage
Logan is an absolute mauler at the line of scrimmage. At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, he has big-time size and is a large reason why Carthage was able to dominate in the trenches on their way to a state championship last year. The Tigers again will run behind the Arkansas State commit this fall, who had double-digit D-I offers before choosing the Wolves.
Zetthew Meister, Webb City
Much of the reason behind Webb City’s sustained success is great offensive line play, and recently, Meister is right there among the best. He doesn’t have freakish size, but his IQ and technique have allowed him to start since his sophomore year, paving the way for 300 rushing yards per game over the last two seasons.
Jaiden Reibert, Cassville
The senior all-state selection is everything you could want in a two-way lineman. As a guard, he finishes blocks, is athletic enough to pull and he’s a big body at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds. On the defensive side, where he was an All-Big 8 pick, he controls the line of scrimmage and does a tremendous job of setting the edge at defensive end.
Jack Roweton, Bolivar
Roweton is built like a brick wall at 6-foot-1, 290 pounds. He’s a three-year, two-way starter for Bolivar, which helps you understand his versatility and durability. Roweton also is extremely mobile for his size, making him one of the most effective pulling guards in the Ozarks. Defensively, he’s just as dominant, with the ability to stuff the run or tip passes at the line.
Others to Watch
Gavin Ka/awa-Pa, Waynesville
Kyle Fritts, Fair Grove
Jacob Lakey, Ava
Gabe Mehrens, Lincoln
Colby Miles, Ava
Spencer Neal, Lockwood
Sebastian Rogers, West Plains
Cooper Roy, Glendale
Donovahn Watkins, Joplin
Rylan Wooldridge, Lamar