Ligonier Valley standout shines in classroom, on gridiron

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 11:42 p.m.

From just outside the fringes of the revered WPIAL, Micah Tennant stands tall.

Ligonier Valley's talented, two-way senior lineman (6-foot-6, 296) has rebounded from a broken tibia that ended his junior year and is doing his best to extend Ligonier Valley's season. The Rams (10-1) will play host to Forest Hills (8-3) in the District 6-AA semifinals Saturday night.

“He's quite a young man. He's getting attention from college coaches, and he's ranked No. 2 in his class,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “Academically, he's great.”

He's not too shabby on the gridiron, either, as early as summer preseason camp drawing attention from various Division I coaches.

Q: What was it like to have college coaches show up at your preseason workouts? How did that change your approach to your senior year?

A: It helped me come at it with a little more focus. It helped me to show how important teamwork is and how hard you have to work at that. In a small way, it also helped to get this school some recognition.

Q: You're having a good career on and off the field at Ligonier Valley. But you play in relative obscurity in relationship to the WPIAL. Do you ever think about what the perception is of that program is outside of District 6?

A: People don't realize outside of the WPIAL that there is a lot of competition in District 6. It's a very competitive area with very competitive players. There are great athletes and great players in District 6.

Q: How do you feel about the success rate at Ligonier Valley during your time there and what would you tell the guys who will follow you?

A: In my three years, we won a (Heritage) conference championship, and we were close twice. I tell the younger guys to have the same expectations. They can compete for a conference championship, too. We're trying to develop a football program, not just a team. You've got to work hard towards those goals in the offseason.

Q: Do you have a role model for an athlete, someone who you've learned from?

A: Actually, I've always been a Hines Ward fan. I know he's not a lineman, but I always have liked the way he played. He got big hits and came right back up. Overall, he's a great person off the field.

Q: What are your interests besides sports?

A: I like to hang out with my friends, lift (weights) and listen to music.

Q: Who's been the biggest influence in your life?

A: That would have to be my dad. He's always been there to encourage me to work hard and do my best.

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