Seace providing size, skill for top-seeded Lions

Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 274 pounds, Chestnut Ridge senior two-way tackle Dalton Seace is an imposing figure on the football field due to his sheer size alone.

But Ridge coach Max Shoemaker is quick to point out that Seace, who is a three-year starter at defensive tackle, is so much more than just a big lineman who takes up space.

There’s a heck of a lot of substance to Seace’s game.

“He’s a good athlete,” Shoemaker said. “Some kids are just big, but he’s athletic. Along with his size, he can move well, and he’s agile.”

Shoemaker said that Seace — who will lead Chestnut Ridge into its District 5 Class 2A semifinal game Friday when the top-seeded Lions host Berlin Brothersvalley — gets a good jump off the line of scrimmage from his defensive tackle position.

“He gets a good takeoff on the ball, he has good footwork, and he uses his hands well,” Shoemaker said. “He can move well laterally, and can adjust to plays other than those that are run right at him. He’s a student of the game who understands blocking schemes, and he’s able to read blocks well. Although he gets double-teamed a lot, he’s pretty good at coming off a double team.”

Make no mistake about it, though, the size advantage that Seace enjoys serves him well.

“Being 6-foot-5 and (nearly 280 pounds) helps a lot,” Seace said. “Being quick and big helps a lot. You can get people out of your way in a hurry, and plow through them.”

Seace, who is also starting at left tackle on offense for the first time this season, is very comfortable on the defensive line, thanks to his experience there.

“(The experience) makes me a little more comfortable,” Seace said. “We’ve run the same defense for three years. I’m not as nervous. Instead of thinking about it, I know what to do right away.”

Shoemaker said that Seace is as durable as he is talented.

“For as big as he is, he’s very durable,” Shoemaker said. “We had some games early in the season where the weather was very hot and humid, and some of the guys were struggling and cramping up. But he played both ways, and never came off the field. He didn’t have a problem.”

Seace is also a standout heavyweight wrestler at Ridge, and credits his wrestling background for contributing to his agility and endurance on the football field.

“This will be my third year as a varsity wrestler,” Seace said. “I think it’s made me a lot smarter, a lot faster, and a lot more agile.”

Shoemaker said that Seace also possesses a keen competitive instinct.

“I think the thing about Dalton is that he’s a competitor,” Shoemaker said. “He doesn’t like to get shown up. Whether it’s blocking against a defensive lineman or rushing against an offensive lineman, he wants to win the battle. He’s definitely one of the leaders among our linemen. He’s certainly been a mainstay on our defensive front for the last three years.”