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Buffalo tandem anchors physical line

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Buffalo tandem anchors physical line

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED August 23, 2012 1:46 a.m.

One is big.

And so is the other one.

They’ve played football side-by-side since their youth football days, dominating at each level along the way. The pair made the leap to the varsity ranks as sophomores and did not miss a beat. Now, the Manteca Buffaloes will look to juniors Billy Sharmoug and Issac McClain to pave the road back to a section title.

Spotting the tandem during a late practice conditioning session is an easy task. Neither is in the front of the conditioning line with the swift-footed Buffaloes, but both are working hard. The kind of hard work that turns talented, over-achieving, hard workers into collegiate athletes.

“We’ve been here before, so we have that year of experience which was a blessing to come up our sophomore year and be able to start,” Sharmoug said. “We know what to do. We just want to lead the younger guys and some of the older guys that didn’t start on the team last year.

“We want to show them the way, because of that experience.”

 With more Sac-Joaquin Section titles than any school in the Valley Oak League, Manteca’s aspirations begin and end with the postseason. The postseason foundation usually is prepared during the summer and this year’s group of Buffalo leaders have not missed the mark.

“I’ve been working hard all summer,” McClain said. “Even on those extra days that weren’t mandatory. We’ve been coming here and doing some voluntary work in the weight room; just trying to become better players.”

Manteca will pass every eye test its comes across on the interior line with Sharmoug and McClain joined by senior Daniel Clemons (5 foot 11, 230 pounds). Their initial season showed the pair is not intimidated by physical play. This season, those same expectations are compounded by the team’s need for the duo to dominate on both sides of the ball.

“We look good this year, we have a lot of experience returning,” McClain said. “Our entire left side of the offensive line is coming back and our center was a starter on the championship sophomore team.

“We’ve got to lead by example; do your part and make sure everybody else does theirs.”

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