Football: Taking a Look back

The ReSporter will be running several articles through the month of May on athletes from each sport

Canyon Lake's Zach Henshaw

from two perspectives.

1. The all-time student athlete in that sport from a performance stand point. Do note that this would be just an opinion from the ReSporter Staff.

2. A spotlight player that The ReSporter thinks will be the athlete to watch as this next year will unfold.

This series will start with Fall Sports.

Please also note that The ReSporter does not have an opportunity to see every sport and will not have an article if that is the case.

Certainly comment on the articles and give us your opinion on other students or the ones talked about in each segment.

The ReSporter will only allow positive inputs as this will be the only type of conversation needed.

Football is one sport that will have the most players to pick from, so based on that salvo, The ReSporter Staff will break up this sport with three different areas: offense, defense, and special teams.

Zach Henshaw would be the pick for this segment of players.

Henshaw will be the first to let you know that he did not get to his goals without God and the offensive line.

So, in giving accolades to Henshaw we will first start with some of those ‘Big Guys’ that helped make his rise to prominence a reality.

Offensive Line Coach Chuck Wallen was quoted a couple of years ago before Henshaw’s senior season:

“The turning point with the offensive line last year (2010 campaign) was when we challenged the team to step it up last season,” Coach Wallen elaborated. “That is when we started believing in each other and the power running game became our identity.”

Wallen continued,”Going into the season last year, we thought the passing game would be our forte….then, we found out we could knock people off the ball.”

The coaches were excited last year as the season started to approach, but this time, the coaches seem to be on a different level with their confidence with this team.

“This is the best we have ever been at this time of the year,” Coach Wallen quipped. “The kids have a grasp and have become coaches on the field. The main core that have been with us a while are real exciting to watch.”

Those words from Coach Wallen morphed into an offensive line that controlled the trenches in many games.

Elijah Montgomery, Jaaz McNair, Wes Dicks, and Taylor Hocutt were four of those players that helped Henshaw get to levels that might be hard for future running backs to attain.

Before we go into those numbers that Henshaw achieved in his three years at Canyon Lake, The ReSporter will go over other players that deserve to be mentioned as pivotal offensive players.

Ross Wagliardo was not noted for his running abilities but when you look at his game management and passing skills, he was a hard player to ‘pass’ up. (pardon the pun)

For his career Wagliardo had 330 completions, .551 completion percentage, 3896 yards through the air which are all tops for CL quarterbacks.

Actually there was one player with a .750 completion rate, but Matt Magness only threw three passes during his time as a Hawk.

Another player would be Eric Nelson, who still holds most of the receiving records and also caused The ReSporter to broaden its scope when thinking about having these articles and finding out it would be an injustice of having just one player for football.

Nelson had his best year during that 2009 season with 56 receptions, 846 yards, and seven touchdowns. All of those are pretty good one year totals, but add his Junior year and you have another Hawk that will be tough to reach in the pass catching department.

Career           Catches    Total Yards    Yards per Rec     Touchdowns
Eric Nelson        104         1527            14.7              15

One last note on Nelson and Wagliardo, their first year of varsity was that inaugural 1-9 year when scoring points was like trying to get into Fort Knox. (did not happen very often)

Other players that deserve honorable mention:

Running Back: Eduardo Covarrubias who reached 1711 yards rushing and played hurt much of his senior year.

Quarterback: Branson Belcher who spearheaded the 8-2 season.

Quarterback: Jeff Nabors who was under center during those two rounds in the playoffs back in the 2010 season.

Receiver Matt Magness: Had many of Canyon Lake’s longest offensive plays via receiving yards. He also was first in scoring in pass catching and did we mention his .750 completion rate?

All of the players above and more have had some stellar games and careers for the Hawks.

Now it is time to wow you with some Henshaw numbers that were off the charts during his career.

Rushing    Game               Season   Yards      Career       Yards
Henshaw    300 vs. Billies    2011     2070       2009-11      4329

During Henshaw’s 2011 year he had 156 consecutive plays where he rushed for positive yardage. That record started during the Blanco game and was ended by those pesky Texans from Wimberley.

Three years of rushing over 1000 yards.
2009       249 carries        1098 yards       11 games
2010       266 carries        1161 yards        8 games
2011       279 carries        2070 yards       10 games
Top Five Teams yards gained by Henshaw
Team                  Yards         Games      Carries       Ave.per carry
Fredericksburg        517           3          77            6.7
Bandera               362           2          44            8.2
Burnet                360           2          61            5.9
Navarro               350           2          51            6.9
Sealy                 297           1          38            7.8
Top Five Teams with the best runs per average.
Team                  Year          Ave.       Yards         Carries
Austin Travis         2011         10.9        252           23
Bandera               2011         10.3        227           22
Fredericksburg        2011          9.1        300           33
Burnet                2010          8.7        243           28
Navarro               2011          8.4        287           34

Henshaw had nine games where he amassed 200 or more yards on the ground. Henshaw also had 19 games where he reached the 100 yard plateau.

There is more evidence for the argument that Henshaw has been one of the best offensive players for Canyon Lake.

If you need more, then catch The ReSporter staff at some point and you can add to the collection of records above.

Now, who will be that spotlight player for this upcoming season for Canyon Lake?

Hayden Dubois running in the trenches

Running Back Hayden Dubois gets the nod for that person fans can watch to see if Canyon Lake can break back into that top of district standings goal.

Dubois finished with 318 yards rushing last year with a 4.9 yards per carry average.

What makes Dubois the man to see is in having Covarrubias, Casey Coffee, and Branson Belcher walking across the stage in a few weeks. These players were in the top four running backs this last season.

Over 73% of the Hawks rushing last season will be getting their diploma soon. Canyon Lake only had two players that were not Seniors that gained yards via the ground last year.

McGuire Johnson had a chance with six carries for 30 yards from the fullback slot.

Canyon Lake will be changing their offensive strategy this next season, where running with the rock will also be on center stage.

The Hawks have several running backs wanting some time behind the line with that chance to help the team win.

With Dubois having the most experience coming into this season will give him a chance to showcase his talents and help lead the pack.

The Hawks will be searching for a quarterback to take control after losing the winningest quarterback in CL history, Belcher with 12 wins.

A lot of young and experienced players are moving up the pipes and the wait will not be long before you will be sweltering in the August heat to see just what type of offensive team the Hawks will unveil this year.

The ReSporter will have the next two articles on Football as we will split this format for Offensive and Defensive stalwarts for Canyon Lake….stay tuned.