Youthful offensive line giving freshman some early experience

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Names like Macon Allan, Brian Chiles, Nick Clark and Michael Yardley are no longer announced over the speakers at games now.

All four of those men were Offensive lineman here at Western a year ago, but have since moved on to life after college.

The aforementioned men helped anchor a line that paved the way for Michael Hill, the all-time leading rusher in school history.

With running back Raphael Spencer taking most of the snaps, freshman lineman John Carter hopes to pave the way for Spencer, similar to how Chiles and his fellow linemen did for Hill.

A year ago, Carter was a senior at Jefferson City High School, where he helped his team total almost 4,000 yards of offense in his last year.

With injuries hindering an already patched up and youthful O-line, Carter’s number has been called on early to fill some missing slots.

Carter said that, although pressure comes to mind when playing for an explosive offense, he is more than capable to compete.

“Injuries happen,” Carter said. “I knew that if the coaches thought I was ready, then I could play. It helps to know that we have all these great backs that can make things happen.”

As for any freshmen playing in a live game, there will be mistakes made. There will also be some confusion on plays, but Carter says his teammates have coached him up since the beginning of the season.

“All the people around me help drastically,” Carter said. “The offensive linemen helped me with my calls when I did not know them. These backs can make moves, so I have to keep up.”

Third year player, Travis Anderson, was looked at as the starter at the left guard position, but has been plagued by injuries dating back to last year.

Anderson’s absence has given Carter an opportunity to get some early experience that will make him a valuable prospect for the next couple of years.

Spencer noted the offensive line might be young and inexperienced, but he is happy with the holes they are able to make for him on the field.

“I have so much faith in the O-line because of their talent and how hard they work in practice,” Spencer said. “Coach Throckmorton does a very good job of teaching and coaching the line.”

As for Carter, Spencer said he is going to be a great lineman because of the coaching of Throckmorton.

“John Carter has stepped up greatly in the absence of Travis Anderson,” Spencer said. “John has come in and there hasn’t been much of a drop-off between the two. I am anxious to see how much he’ll improve throughout his career at Missouri Western.”

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