When Columbus East junior offensive lineman Sean Galligar didn’t earn a starting spot for most of the games in the 2014 football season, he decided to look in the mirror.
What he saw was a guy who was not in the best of shape.
Knowing that his time in high school was running out, Galligar decided to get to work.
He started during the wrestling season when he won Hoosier Hills Conference and regional titles at 285 pounds. Then he continued working during the offseason, dropping from 280 pounds to his current weight of 260.
Now he has become a senior force as an East starting offensive guard.
“Body weight is never an issue until they can’t move,” said East offensive line coach David Miller. “We had conversations with Sean about that.
“He was strong enough, but he lacked foot-speed and quickness. Now he is more explosive and has more quickness. He has developed into a really good player.”
He is a really good player who is helping the Olympians put up some impressive offensive numbers.
East is averaging 312.5 yards rushing per game and 437 yards of total offense. That’s 1,250 yards rushing in four games a season after Markell Jones left to do his rushing at Purdue.
“Sean is a great example for our younger players,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “Sean is the same story as a guy like (defensive lineman) Quade Greiwe. He was a backup last year, but he has done the work and has developed.”
He developed by being a multi-sport athlete.
“I put in a lot of work in both wrestling and football in the offseason,” Galligar said. “I tried to balance it out.
“Being able to start means a lot to me. It was one of my dreams, and I was hoping that last year would be my first year starting.”
Galligar, who won the annual strength competition in March between the Columbus East, Columbus North, Bloomington North and Bloomington East football teams, said he is glad he did the work.
“I’ve gotten myself in a lot better condition,” he said. “I have better balance, strength and speed.”
Miller knew Galligar could be an impact player.
“He has paid his dues,” Miller said. “He has been a leader by example, working hard.”
Besides his physical skills, Galligar said he is a smarter player, which ironically, means he has to think less on a football field.
“I take a more mental approach, and I study the game more,” he said. “It means that on the field I have to think less and just play.”
Winning wrestling championships also has helped Galligar.
“Confidence has meant everything to me,” he said. “I think lack of confidence really was one of the reasons I didn’t start last year. Now I am firing off the ball every time.”
Gaddis said his ability to fire off the ball with quickness has allowed him to transfer his power so much better. “His strength allows him to take on big, strong guys,” Gaddis said.
Although he loves football, Galligar said this could be his last season playing the sport competitively. He has talked to college programs, such as the one at Trine University, about wrestling.
If he does leave the sport, he will remember it as one of the best times of his life.
“Playing with our offensive line has been great,” he said. “We play for each other. It is a strong brotherhood.
“And Coach Miller is a great guy. He can get mean, but he finds a way to make hard work fun.”
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SCHOOL: Columbus East
POSITION: Offensive guard
SIZE: 5-foot-10, 260 pounds
DID YOU KNOW?: Galligar won the annual weight lifting competition in March between the Columbus East, Columbus North, Bloomington North and Bloomington South football teams