HS Football: “The Hill” a right of passage at Linton-HMB

National Sports

In 9-man high school football, players at Linton HMB have run the hill that sits right outside the practice field at Seeman field for years and the tradition has left a lasting impression.

The hill in Linton has been around for decades.

“We incorporated the hill as part of our conditioning at the beginning and the end of practices,” head coach Paul Keeney said. 

As seniors, players had no trouble recalling their feelings.

“Tiring,” tight end and defensive end Parker Gerving said. “A lot of work.”

“I think about how many times we’ve done it,” linebacker and fullback Bowdy Rommich said. 

When Bowdy was a freshman, a senior prank gave him his first experience.

“They always make us run off the back of the bus as freshman,” Rommich said. “Mr. Imdieke would always come out and say, ‘What are you doing running off the back of the bus? That’s a hill.'”

That was the first of many times for Bowdy and his classmates, but it’s all worth it. After their senior year, the players receive a special gift.

“If you play your senior season, they always get you a t-shirt that says, ‘I bet the hill,'” Rommich said.
 
And despite your grade classification, the players take pride in never losing to the hill.

“Not me, no,” Gerving said. “I’ve made it up every time. I’ve come close to having it defeat me, but I’ve always made it.”

And the hill is not only for players. Even coach Paul Keeney has had a couple of battles.

“I’ve run the hill a couple of times,” Keeney said. “I’ve had to challenge a player now and then, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Especially, once you get towards the top.”

Tomorrow, Linton-HMB looks to show off how much the hill has helped their conditioning in a four-team scrimmage at Shiloh Christian.

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