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updated: 7/18/2011 9:19 PM

Lineman competition at W. Aurora on Thursday

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Quarterbacks, defensive backs and receivers have their days in the sun.

Mike Powers and Buck Drach figured, why not linemen, too?

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Started years ago when both men coached football at St. Charles East, the Battle of the Big Butts lineman competition enters its 13th year on Thursday at West Aurora.

"It was something that Buck and I did, and we brought it here. I guess nobody's complained," said Powers, West Aurora's offensive line coach.

Following Drach's retirement after last season, he's now working under first-year Blackhawks head varsity coach Nate Eimer, a graduate of "West High."

The one-day competition modeled on the "World's Strongest Man" television shows offers seven different events. It will be capped by the nonscoring watermelon eating race.

"That's why teams come to this," said Powers, whose wife, Terrie, will be among those judging to see who can chew the fruit off the rind the fastest.

T-shirts are awarded to individual and team event winners, and the overall champion. Barrington, a traditional Big Butts titan, is the defending champion.

Schools can enter as many five-man teams as they'd like, broken down into varsity and frosh-soph levels. They slug it out in bench press, 40-yard dash, medicine ball throw, agility run, tractor tire relay, 5-man sled and a tug of war. Blackhawks cheerleaders are there to add up the totals and declare the leaders.

Cost of a five-man team is $30, but before simply wading in at Thursday's 2 p.m. check-in, each athlete must have a signed waiver to participate. Powers sent about 200 emails to school athletic directors.

"All the receivers and quarterbacks, defensive backs, they get all this work on 7-on-7 (camps). We took our team to Bolingbrook last week for their Jamboree, and the linemen were kind of left home," Powers said.

Thursday they get their (big) butts in motion.

"We wanted something for the linemen, something for them to have some fun," Powers said.

She's No. 1

Neuqua Valley girls lacrosse coach Lauren Rippy has taken a similar spot at Aurora University, named the first head coach of the Spartans women's lacrosse team which begins varsity play in 2013.

In seven years at Neuqua Rippy's record was 98-39-3, with six conference championships.

She's a Level I certified coach who also is a director at Players Lacrosse Club in Naperville.

Two under par

Wheaton College has hired two new golf coaches to succeed Jay Martin, who coached both the Thunder's men's and women's programs from 2006-11.

The new coaches are the husband-and-wife duo of Janet and Kent Moore.

Janet Moore, who will coach Wheaton College's women, was a four-year player at Arizona State, earning all-PAC 10 honors in 1986.

A three-time participant in the United States Women's Amateur Championship, Moore is a five-time Colorado state stroke-play champion. In 2001 she became the youngest inductee into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

Her husband, Kent, will coach the Wheaton College men's golf team. He's also a member of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

Kent Moore was named Purdue University's top golfer in 1977 and was the Boilermakers' captain his senior year in 1978.

He competed in the USGA Amateur Championship three times, and in 1989 was named men's player of the year by the PGA's Colorado section, as well as the Colorado Golf Association's player of the year.

Kent Moore was Colorado's individual champion five times.

Up the ladder

Wheaton College has also named Sarah Harris as its full-time assistant within the women's basketball program. The 2003 cum laude graduate succeeds

Kent Madsen, who was elevated to the Thunder's head coaching position in the wake of Beth Baker's retirement in May.

Harris is the daughter of Bill Harris, who led the Wheaton College men to a record of 321-147 from 1991-2009. She served as a Thunder assistant last season, after four seasons as the head women's coach at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

An Academic All-District player as a junior and senior at Wheaton, she helped the Thunder capture two conference championships.

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