United Community Bank Athletes of the Week: Velva’s offensive and defensive linemen

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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VELVA, N.D. (KMOT) - The Velva Aggies linemen say they share a special bond.

“It’s just family,” said Kyle Sandy, a senior.

Maybe because they grew up together.

“We’ve known each other since what, Gabe (Lakoduk) came here in fifth grade? Since then we’ve all been together. That’s about it. It’s family,” said Payton Bodine, a senior.

It could be how much time they spend as a group.

“We’re really interconnected outside of football. That brings us closer together, especially on the field. It’s just going out to eat or hanging out in general,” said Aaden Olson, a senior.

Or how important their job is.

“(The offensive and defensive line) is the heart of where football is won and lost,” said Coach Larry Sandy.

Velva has long been known as one of North Dakota’s great farm towns: Gabe farms and Peyton ranches.

It’s also known as one of the best producers of football linemen.

“We have the knowledge of sitting behind great o-lines in the past. Coming in this year, there were big expectations and I think we’ve fulfilled it,” said Gabe.

Through five games, quarterback Ben Schepp has only been sacked four times.

“Without these guys out there doing the work they’re doing, we’re not going to have any success,” said Sandy.

On offense, the line gives skill position players the time they need for explosive highlight plays.

“This group has formed into a family. That’s basically it,” said Kyle.

A big, happy family.

Following last week’s 56-6 win at South Prairie-Max, Velva hosts Kenmare this Friday. The team’s field will be dedicated as the “Larry Sandy Field.”