DeLaurier making his presence felt
WESTVILLE – You may not hear Tanner DeLaurier's name called during Friday's Class 2A state title game at Memorial Stadium, but it will certainly be announced along with the rest of the Westville football team during the postgame awards ceremony.
DeLaurier's contributions to the Tigers' success over the past four years won't show up in the statistics, but during that time the 17-year-old has made a definite impact on the Westville program.
With playing time on the offensive and defensive lines hard to come by on the talented Tigers' teams, DeLaurier has toiled primarily on the scout teams the past couple of seasons, seeing varsity playing time in the second half of most games after the outcome had already been decided.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior has no regrets.
"Day in and day out, I just try to make the starters better and as prepared as possible for the next game," DeLaurier said. "We (scout teams) do our best to try and play to their level."
Being on the scout team can be brutal work. With the varsity working to perfect every play in its playbook, repetition is the name of the game. For guys like DeLaurier that can mean lining up against some of the state's top linemen.
"We have definitely taken our beatings," DeLaurier said.
While DeLaurier doesn't get the media attention and fanfare of a lot of his teammates, that doesn't mean that he isn't a valued member of the team. The Tigers have taken notice of his sacrifices over the past four years.
"Tanner has had to go up against a lot of tough players over the years," Tigers' senior Jordan Barney said. "They're not people you want to line up against every down, every day, but he's done it every week for us. He works his butt off and will do anything to help the team."
"Tanner always works hard, he gives 100 percent every day," Westville junior Dusty Zaayer added. "He's a good friend too. If you need him he is always there."
The Tigers' coaching staff has been equally appreciative of the effort DeLaurier has put forth. It's something they know can't be expected in this day and age.
"Here's a young man that doesn't get to play a lot, but he's there every day and he works very hard," head coach Guy Goodlove said. "He's a perfect example of someone who just enjoys being a part of the team. I'm sure he would like to play more, but he never complains. Tanner is as big of a part of this team as anyone. I have a lot of respect for him."
For DeLaurier, who plans to attend junior college next fall, all the hard work and punishment during those long practice sessions has created memories that will last a lifetime.
"It has been amazing," DeLaurier said. "I'll never forget the people who have come through the program and the friends I have made. From here on, we are going to be remembered as one of the best teams to ever come through Westville."