Paving the Bulls' way

The Baltimore Sun

The Hereford football team has one of the most dynamic offenses in the area. One reason the Class 3A state semifinalist has been so effective is the blocking by offensive lineman Nick Krempasanka. Krempasanka has opened holes for running back Lonnie Liggins, while keeping quarterback Jason Fischer upright long enough to find receivers downfield. He credits his stellar play to the other offensive linemen: Sean Gibbons, Justin Jones, Tyler McCrea and Josh Powers. As dominant as he is on the field, he's even better in the classroom. He has a 3.7 grade point average and scored a 2070 on the SAT. He is considering Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio State and Northwestern and plans to major in biochemistry. He would like to become a surgeon.

What's the best part about Hereford football?

My favorite thing about my team is how well we all get along with each other. With our offense, the greatest thing about it is we don't really have a best player on it. We all have to work together on it perfectly all the time, and we all do. That's my favorite thing about us: how well we work together.

How long have you and the other offensive linemen been playing together?

The seniors - me, [Justin] Jones, Tyler McCrea and Sean Gibbons - we've known each other for the last three years, at least. We've become really close over that time.

What satisfaction do you guys get when the running backs and the quarterbacks have big days and you're a big reason?

Whenever they interview Lonnie [Liggins], he's always telling us that he gives credit to his O-linemen and stuff. I'm really glad for that because they can't have that kind of day without us helping them and they know it, and they're grateful for that, and I'm grateful for the fact that we have running backs like that, that when we block, we can put up these huge scores and our team keeps winning. Basically, we play to win, so if we're winning, I'm happy.

With the way the offense is scoring, what does that say about the line?

The one thing about our line is we're fast. The quickness really helps. We spend our entire offseason, all summer, in the weight room. Also, we're really smart. When they want to bring [line]backers and stuff, the guards and the center are always talking to each other about who has got what 'backer that's blitzing. We can always pick it up, and it's never confusing to us and that's really helpful. We're never caught off guard by what the defense does.

Do you ever feel like there's a target on your back because your team is undefeated and vying for a state title?

Up here, we call it the H-Factor. Everyone wants to beat Hereford. Coach [Steve] Turnbaugh tells us about it all the time that the No. 1 thing we have to think about when we go into every game is "Anything that could go right for that team in that game will because they're playing Hereford and they want to win."

What music gets you ready for a game?

Anything to get us pumped up. Jason Fischer always comes in here with his little iPod boombox and plays all kinds of Korn and Drowning Pool. All kinds of crazy bands to get us fired up and stuff.

What's the best part about being a Bull?

I think there's a whole lot of brotherhood among our team, and everyone on the team gets along with everyone else on the team. We're always joking around with each other. We're all real close with the coaches. Our coaches are always making jokes with us and stuff. Sure, they yell sometimes, but we care a lot around here. Everyone on our team is always into it 100 percent. It's like one gigantic big family and we all get along with each other real well.

What made you want to become a surgeon?

My father's a doctor. I've been to the hospital with him and seen surgeries, and it's interesting stuff. I like it.

Any idea of what kind of surgery you want to do?

Probably orthopedics. It's almost like carpentry but with surgery. It's the only surgery I've seen where you use power tools. I just think it's neat, really.

What are your hobbies away from the football field?

Snowboarding. I'm really big into any kind of car. I love cars with big engines and fast cars. I like outdoors-type stuff. Me and the linemen always go and play video games at Tyler McCrea's house. We're really big into Halo.

Who do you look up to?

I tend to think that my father is a good role model. I like what he's done with his life. I kind of look up to my coaches. Honestly, I like the way our coach leads people. It's a little different than the usual take on how you would be a good leader, but he gets it done. He always gets us fired up before games.

How is it different?

He's a real serious guy half the time, but then he'll be making jokes sometimes, and you'll be like, "What?" He was talking to us last Friday about "playoff fever" and he was like, "Touch your forehead," and we were like, "Why?" and he was like "Feel warm? You got the playoff fever." We all started screaming and stuff, but it was awesome.

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Confusing. You should hear me and Tyler McCrea in calculus having conversations about the most random stuff ever. We were talking the other day about a jet that could go underwater and attack people. That's how we are.

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