As key players on the offensive side of the football, linemen sometimes get overlooked despite their importance to the game.
However, a former local player is getting recognition during the preseason after being named along with the top college centers in the nation.
Peyton Reeder, who played for Pepperell before finishing out his high school career at Coosa, is now playing for Army and was announced as being on the watch list for the 2019 Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding center in Division I football.
His father, Dennis Reeder, admitted he hadn’t heard of the award before his son told him he was on the watch list.
“I said, ‘Watch list? What did you do wrong?’” the elder Reeder laughed. “He said, ‘No, Dad. It’s a good thing.’ I just told him to stick to your guns and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Peyton Reeder started 11 games for the Black Knights at right guard during the 2018 season, helping the team rank second in the country in rushing yards per game and total rushing yards. He is moving to center this season following the graduation of team captain Bryce Holland.
Army finished with an 11-2 record last season, capping the year with a 70-14 win over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. In his first season, Reeder played in 10 games as Army led the nation in rushing yards per game and total rushing.
Reeder made an impression on Coosa head coach Todd Wheeler in his two years with the Eagles.
“With Peyton, nothing surprises me,” Wheeler said. “He’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever worked with. He’s a kid that’s always understood his weaknesses and he’s worked at those. He was a diamond in the rough, and I feel like a lot of schools overlooked him.”
Dennis Reeder said he’s glad to see his son not only be successful on the field, but is comforted knowing his son is getting a good education as well.
“(We’re) just ecstatically proud of him,” Dennis Reeder said. “He’s doing really well. I just try to stay behind him and tell him the harder he works now the better his life will be in the future. If you want a better and more comfortable life than blue collar, you need to pursue an education.”
The Rimington Trophy is named after Dave Rimington, who amassed an impressive list of accomplishments during his college career at the University of Nebraska.
Rimington led his team to Big Eight titles in 1981 and 1982, and played seven years in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Also on the watch list of 80 players is Georgia Tech center Kenny Cooper, who played his high school football at Sonoraville.
The winner will be recognized and receive the trophy at a ceremony on Jan. 18, 2020, at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska.