Let’s Get Defensive
The ReSporter has been writing on the offensive side of the ball the last few weeks and will now concentrate the next couple of weeks on the Defensive side.
We will start with Coach Bret Hodges, who coaches the defensive line for the Hawks.
The defense had some big shoes that graduated and the coaches will now go into the plugging the holes mantra.
“Graduation leaves us with unknowns,” Defensive Line Coach Bret Hodges said.
The Hawks lost two players that spent a lot of time in the opponents backfield last season. J.Garrett Grooms and Chris Kopecky supplied the Hawks with critical plays stopping opposing teams last season.
The two players top the all time charts for, tackles for loss. Kopecky tops the charts with 26 such plays the last two years, while Grooms finished with 25 tackles for loss.
Grooms is also tops with 18 such plays last season.
The good news for Canyon Lake is the emergence of Alex Kemp who now holds down the second most plays tackled behind the line with 15 for a season. In fact, Kemp had the most sacks in a season with nine.
With the next sack Kemp will share the lead with Grooms and has a decent chance of finishing in the lead for that title as the campaign will allow him at least 10 games to accumulate sacks.
“We will be deeper,” Coach Hodges continued. “Kemp is more athletic and he has had a good off season.”
Last week we talked about the players on the offense and defensive lines concentrating on their side of the ball.
“It will be nice not having to share somebody,” Hodges said. “But, if we need to, we might share for a short period of time.”
The defense gave up 113 points in the fourth quarter last year, which was 58 points more than what they averaged for the first three quarters.
How fresh the defensive line is in the fourth quarter should benefit the defense much like the offensive line being fresh in helping to score more points in the fourth quarter.
“We will have size with the defensive tackles,” Coach Hodges admonished. “Whoever fills in at the tackle position will have more size.”
“Ty Pecan is a new big kid that will be a defensive tackle. He works hard and looks like he has lots of potential. He hasn’t done it yet, but we will know as soon as they put pads on,” Hodges continued.
“Logan Felch moved up from the Junior Varsity last year,” Hodges smiled. “He is a smart kid and has a lot of endurance.”
The ReSporter has seen the Coaches with a smile on their faces watching the work ethic of the players this off season.
When asked about how the defensive line will perform this season, Coach Hodges said. “It won’t be a lack of confidence or toughness coming from this group of players.”
Controlling the line of scrimmage takes the pressure off the linebackers and defensive backs. Having your sack leader return and putting pressure on the quarterback will be a huge benefit for the Hawks.
Let’s hope the ‘Potential’ moniker changes as the season progresses to tackles for loss and sacks for the defensive line. It will be great if the Defense becomes Offensive, as in the offensive backfield.
You can punch the Archives section to read about the Football team. We have had articles about the Running Backs, Offensive Line, and now the Defensive Line.
Next article will be with Defensive Coordinator Charlie Drum and then Defensive Back’s Coach Cody Means.