PROVIDENCE — After overcoming asthma as a youth, Charlie Elliot’s football career has been all uphill.
The summit — at this point at least — will be reached on Wednesday, April 2 when the Westerly High senior will receive the Division II-A Lineman of the Year award from the Providence Gridiron Club.
Elliot will be honored along with more than a dozen others at a banquet at the Quonset ‘O’ Club in North Kingstown. Tickets to the 7 p.m. event, which may be purchased at the door, are $35 and include a prime rib dinner.
The Gridiron Club names a lineman of the year, back of the year and coach of the year from each of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s five divisions — Division I, II-A, II-B, III and IV. Those winners were chosen by the league’s coaches. From that group the Gridiron Club will select an overall lineman of the year, back of the year and coach of the year.
While in the Westerly Pee Wee Football League, Elliot’s asthma was so bad that he couldn’t run a lap without having to use his inhaler. He was advised to quit football but kept at it and eventually the asthma got better.
Elliot earned a starting job on the Westerly High football team his sophomore year at right guard and remained a starter at that position through his senior season. This past year he also stared on the defensive line.
Elliot also recieved the Carl Myllymaki award given annualy at the Thanksgiving Day game to Westerly’s top lineman.
Westerly coach Chris Wriedt said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Elliot was head and shoulders above the other candidates for the lineman of the year award.
“He caught the attention of the coaches we played against and I did not have to build him up,” Wriedt said.
“His big asset for a lineman is that he’s pretty quick. When we wanted to get to the edge, he was able to get to the edge and block.
Elliot was the starting center on the freshman team, but the Bulldogs had Kyle Burbine established at that position so they plugged in Elliot at right guard.
“He definitely got better year in and year out,” Wriedt said. “He was surrounded by real good people his first two seasons, but this year he was the guy no question about it.”
“He’s very intelligent. He’s got a good grasp for our offensive concept and he was able to help the lineman around him this year with blocking schemes.”
The Bulldogs began the season with largely an inexperienced line that later als was best by injury.
Elliot worked hard in the offseasons.
“He improved immensely in terms of physicalness this season. He was bigger and stronger and in much better condition,” Wriedt said.
Elliot also performed well in the classroom, earning All-Academic honors in all three of his varsity seasons.
The criteria is a 3.25 grade-point average and a significant contributor on the field.
The last Westerly player to earn division lineman of the year was Nick Algiere in 2009. Chariho’s Kyle Eva won the award in 2011.