They say, correctly, that football games are decided in the trenches where offensive and defensive linemen battle for four quarters.

But while they are the key of any contending team, they don’t get much credit and almost never get to enjoy the thrill of scoring a touchdown.

Local linemen, however, have had the opportunity to show off their skills at the Lineman Challenge, hosted by Cochranton High School.

Now in its eighth year, this year’s Lineman Challenge will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 29.

Last year, Conneaut Lake won the team championship while a player from Ford City won the individual title. Cochranton was second in the team standings. Other local teams that competed last year include: Meadville, Cambridge Springs, Maplewood, Lakeview, Conneaut Valley and Franklin.

The event itself has grown drastically. In its first year, just five schools competed, and there were only a handful of events.

Last year there were over 80 participants from 10 teams competing in 11 events that ranged from bench pressing to a 40-yard tow truck push.

Fifteen teams have already committed to competing in this year’s Lineman Challenge, Cochranton head coach Tom Haynes said.

“(The Lineman Challenge) is a really fun day,” Haynes said. “If the weather stays good, there could be a lot of people there.”

Admission is free to spectators, and the concession stand will be open.

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