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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Inland Empire: Michael Philipp

By JOHN GONZALES
The Press-Enterprise

Michael Philipp comes from a long line of lineman.

Three older brothers, Mark, Paul and Hans all made their mark in the area as top defensive lineman.

But what makes the San Bernardino Arroyo Valley senior different is he's one of the top offensive linemen in the country, ranked the No.1 offensive guard in the nation by rivals.com.

"He's go an incredible work ethic," Arroyo Valley coach Marcus Soward. "He's so athletic."

Soward said Philipp approached him about playing receiver during a passing league game over the summer.

"He caught a pass on a fade route and scored a touchdown," Soward said. "He's very athletic. He can block, catch and do anything we ask."

As a sophomore, Michael played with Hans, who is currently at the University of Arizona, when Hans was a senior.

Michael said his brothers tease him about being the only offensive lineman in the family.

"We knew that his skill was as an offensive lineman," Mark said.

Now the defensive line coach for the Hawks, Mark treats Michael like any other player, except in the weight room.

"I'm tough on him in the weight room," Mark said. "It's important for him to take the time to work out in the weight room. That's where you win games."

Michael also said that Hans helped him work on his technique as an offensive lineman whine he improved his defensive lineman skills.

"I missed Hans not being here my junior year," Michael said by phone. "But I was able to handle my own."

Soward said that he believes Michael has excelled with the help of his brothers and his own drive to succeed.

"Mark is a great coach," Soward said. "And you can tell he and Michael have a special relationship. In the end, I think Michael's success is in due to his brothers showing him that hard work can lead to good things and his own desire to do well."

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