There is a language spoken in the Lindenhurst trenches that is hard to decipher. Some of it is silent – a look, a glance, a nod. Some of it is brief – a word, a sound, a grunt. All of it is a product of time, patience, and production. The Lindy lines – anchored by multi-year starters Will Ruckert, Olasunkonmi Agunloye, and Jeff Perez- are some of the strongest on Long Island and they are primed to avenge last season’s loss to Garden City in the Long Island Championship.
“It hurt so much losing that title, that now I’m working two times harder,” said Perez, a left guard and defensive tackle. “Every rep means something.”
Communication is paramount on any offensive line, maybe more so than any position group on the field. This is hardly a problem for Ruckert, Agunloye, and Perez, three seniors with a championship to win.
“Playing with guys you’ve been playing with since ninth grade is something no one else gets to have,” Ruckert said. “I don’t even need to ask them questions. They know what they’re doing and I know what they’re doing. It just meshes together. With that front three, we can get a lot of things done this year.”
“We always know what’s going on, who’s got who, what’s next, what are we going to be doing, and who’s pulling,” he said. “It’s all just communication. We communicate really well.”
The Division I offers have begun to pile up for Agunloye – a 6’6, 240 pound offensive tackle and defensive end. While he hasn’t yet determined which five of his 25 offers will turn into official visits, he has a pretty good idea that UCLA, Virginia, and an Ivy League school – perhaps Dartmouth – will be on that short list.
“I’m trying to play all the cards I can and see which place fits best,” Agunloye said. “…I’m definitely inching closer to a decision. I don’t want to make it too late, of course. I’ll probably make it sometime towards the end of the season.”
Right now, the focus is a return to the LIC and Lindenhurst’s second championship in three years.
“It’s LIC or bust,” Ruckert said. “Everyone has that mentality here.”