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Prep preview '13 -- Vincent enters fourth season as Huskies' starting lineman

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

ALMENA - Four years ago, lineman/linebacker Ian Vincent joined the Almena-Northern Valley varsity football team. He was 5-foot-11 and 209 pounds, the team's fourth-heaviest player. That season, Vincent started as a freshman and collected 53 tackles on a 2-7 season. As well, Vincent had a chance to play with his brother, Zach, a senior.

"I have always been a little bit bigger than everybody," Vincent said. "Freshman year, I got to play a lot more than everybody else, and that really built the experience a lot."

Now, Vincent is a four-year starter and in the mix for best eight-man lineman. He has gained just an inch in height and put on 17 pounds.

"He has had a lot of experience," coach Chuck Fessenden said. "He got to play as a freshman and maybe not because he was ready, but because we had do."

The quiet Vincent is believed to be the lone four-year starting lineman in the 37-year Fessenden era. Several area coaches, including Victoria's Doug Oberle, have praised Vincent since his sophomore year. When told of the compliments,Vincent remained unfazed.

"Vincent is probably one of the best linemen we have had, and you won't get him to brag," said assistant coach Brad Cox, a former Husky player. "...He won't talk about himself."

Vincent, a linebacker, has recorded 239 tackles, including 90 as a sophomore and 96 last season. He opened holes for 337 rushing yards and 43.3 points per game for a 7-2 team. Three Huskies collected more than 800 yards and senior running back Jordan Baird and senior quarterback Hunter Chandler have more career rushing yards than any current area player.

"It feels good," Baird said. "Following a kid that's big, strong, fast, I have been lifting weights with him for I don't know how long.

He is strong. We just have a good chemistry together."

Vincent, who has played right guard since junior high, attended the Kansas State University camp and has worked hard in the weight room. Fessenden complimented Vincent's intelligence and technique. This season, the Huskies have a veteran line with junior Carson Montgomery at center, Ame Baird and Vincent at the guards; all three are returning starters.

"You want to do good, so then the running backs can get a lot of yards and just go down the field," Vincent said. "It makes you feel good when you gain five, 10 yards every play. It's just a well-oiled machine when your team is all going. It's just a lot of fun. When our runners get lots and lots of yards, it kind of reflects on your line a little bit."