Fourth and goal on West Ottawa’s three-yard line, the Panthers are already leading big late in the third qurarter, Liam Cavanaugh blitzes his assigned gap and stops the running back from scoring a crucial touchdown. As Alejandro Ferrer emerges from under the big 190 lbs center from the Caledonia Fighting Scots, he knows the applause from the fans aren’t for him, yet he knows he has done his job.
Caledonia has a premier, big body center who would top most players in the O.K. Red division. This athlete is one of the strongest centers in the area. Standing tall at six foot two inches tall and only weighing in at 190 lbs, Tucker Babb is the complete center with stamina and strength.
Ferrer, who was crushed by Babb, stands roughly five foot nine inches and weighs in at 145 lbs. His job against the Fighting Scots and Tucker Babb, in particular, was something unbelievable. Outmatched physically, Ferrer had to figure out a way and a technique to outplay Tucker. Ferrer was tasked with cutting and getting low at Babb’s knees fast and early in the game. “I just stayed low. I kept my pads level, you know? I knew I wasn’t gonna beat him one on one because of the size difference. So, I just played low and smart.”
Ferrer had one of the most important jobs out on the field that night. Without Ferrer taking out the center and stopping him from making key blocks, Caledonia would be able to run the ball straight up the gut of West Ottawa’s defense. “We were actually going to cut the center quite often. The week before against Grand Rapids Christian, Caledonia rushed for over 200 yards just on some quarterback sneaks up the middle.” This is what head coach Ryan Oshnock of the West Ottawa Panthers had to say about the important role Ferrer was playing against the big body Tucker.
Although Ferrer had one of the most important positions that night against Caledonia, he definitely didn’t get the recognition he deserved from the fans. While all the other star defensive players such as Cavanaugh, Logan Deridder, and Angelo Matta got the applause from the fans, Ferrer got his applause from his teammates and coaches. “I feel underappreciated to the fans because they don’t see the work that I do down there. But, I know my teammates see what I do, especially my linebackers because I take the guys out so they have a shot at getting to the ball,” said Ferrer.
All in all, playing such a tough position in a rough sport like football doesn’t always get the spotlight. Ferrer is a tremendously physical football player for being the size he is against other bigger, taller players. He doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves from the fans, but Ferrer is a hard-working, down in the trenches type of football player. Ferrer had a very successful game against Tucker Babb that was won from down low and through unseen, physical football although he was overshadowed by other defensive players.