Football: Hog Wars celebrates 10th anniversary

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Hog Wars
Cherokee Trail linemen push a truck during one of the Hog Wars events July 10, 2013, at Rangeview High School. Cherokee Trail won the strength and teamwork competition of Aurora linemen for the first time in the nine-year history of the event. The 2014 event is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 9. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Hog Wars turns 10 on July 9 and keeps going strong.

The annual strength and teamwork competition contested among linemen — aka “Hogs” — from Aurora prep football programs is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Rangeview High School.

Last year’s competition was the biggest in total number of teams and arguably the best in terms of competition. With nine of the city’s 11 high school programs represented — save Grandview and Regis Jesuit — last year’s Hog Wars saw Cherokee Trail and Gateway tied in points after five events were contested. The Cougars claimed their first-ever Hog Wars title by capturing the winner-take-all tug’o war with the Olys.

Hog Wars — started by Rangeview head coach Dave Gonzales and his staff in 2005 — is expected to include the five events it usually has in the farmer’s carry, 125-pound “log” press, monster tire flip relay, firetruck push and the tug’o war. Teams are generally comprised of five linemen plus a few more than can be rotated in per event.

Besides the spotlight on the often underappreciated linemen and the team-building, Hog Wars also lands roughly a month from the official start of practices for the 2014 season and ignites all sorts of storylines.

Hinkley has a new head coach in Robert O’Brien, who was promoted from assistant when Jaron Cohen departed for Ponderosa, as does Gateway, which last week tabbed Shane Ward to replace Ashour Peera, who returned to Florida after just one season at Gateway. Ward met his players for the first time on July 7 and said he would leave it up to them to decide if they would compete in Hog Wars.

From a competitive standpoint, several of the teams will get an early look at each other before they meet during the season on the field. Overland and Rangeview meet in the opening game of the upcoming slate after facing off in the first round of the 5A playoffs last season, a hotly-contested game the Trailblazers won in overtime.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel

PAST HOG WARS CHAMPIONS

2005: Rangeview: 2006: Rangeview: 2007: Rangeview; 2008: Rangeview; 2009: Rangeview; 2010: Rangeview; 2011: Gateway; 2012: Overland; 2013: Cherokee Trail