'Battle of the Big Butts’ to showcase area prep football linemen

West Aurora High football program to host 24th annual competition

West Aurora High School will host it’s 24th annual Battle of the Big Butts, strength, speed and endurance contests for Chicago area prep football linemen, on Thursday, July 11, at 3 p.m.

The event will be held at West High's Ormond Stadium and practice fields, 1201 W. New York St. in Aurora.

Michael Runge, Blackhawk assistant football coach, is coordinating the event. The public is invited. Admission is free. Concessions will be available.

Runge said, “During the summer, skill players compete by throwing, catching passes and making interceptions.

“This week is about the other positions on the field — the linemen.”

Events scheduled are:

• Bench Press, varsity: 185 lbs.; frosh/soph: 135 lbs. Total reps counted for team score.

• 40-yard dash

• Medicine-ball throw

• Agility run including chutes, bags, cones, hurdle, ladders

• Tractor-tire relay, two-man teams will flip tires for 10 yards

• Five-man sled drive for 5 seconds

• Tug of war

• Watermelon-eating race (non-scoring event)

Team and individual winners will be recognized.

Runge said the event was organized in 1999 by Mike Powers, former assistant coach at St. Charles High School. He brought the competition with him when he came to West Aurora in 2006.

In 2015, it gained national recognition when it was covered by Sports Illustrated.

Runge added, “In 2016, Mike retired from coaching football. West Aurora is proud to continue this event in Mike’s honor and for all of those unsung heroes of the gridiron, the linemen!”

For more information, contact Runge at (630) 301-5565 or

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