Football, Player Profile | May 8, 2013

Hawks Defense Needs to go Back to the Future

McGuire Johnson making the tackle

The ReSporter will be running several articles through the month of May on athletes from each sport 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 in three different areas: offense, defense, and special teams.

Defensively, Canyon Lake had one of their best seasons during the 2009 campaign.

The ReSporter will give Eric Nelson our vote for best defensive player from that season.

Before we expound on Nelson’s exploits, The ReSporter would like to talk about other players that had a say in getting to this plateau.

First off at linebacker you had Bobby Flint who holds the record for most tackles with 435 during his career.

He holds down three of the top five best years in tackles.

 Name                 Year           Total Tackles
 Bobby Flint          2010               175
 Bobby Flint          2009               146
 Jeremy Best          2011               140
 James Richard        2009               122
 Bobby Flint          2008               114

These three players (Flint, Best, and Richard) are the only students to reach triple digits in tackles for a year.

Alex Kemp also made his presence known as he played without fear as a defensive end and leads the Hawks with sacks and tackles for a loss.

Kemp finished with 126 tackles 33 tackles for loss and 20 sacks….that equates to 26% of his tackles being in his opponent’s backfield.

Jeremy Best had a whale of a season with 140 tackles during that 8-2 season and also reached double figures (10) with tackles behind the line.

Brandon Berger with 5 pass break-ups and seven sacks during his Senior season, finished with 81 tackles from the defensive backfield is also an impressive line.

How about James Richards from that improbable 2009 season. He had a triple digit tackle chart, joining Flint with that distinction with 122 tackles during that same year.

That 2009 defense was the only year where two players reached triple digit tackles.

Richards also had 14 tackles for a loss,  a sack,  and five caused fumbles while recovering one. You can also add two interceptions for that magical year for this player that played with an attitude.

Chris Kopecky, Drew Riccio, The Phillips Twins, J. Garrett Grooms and Clint Goodman are from that defense Canyon Lake is still in search of matching again.

That leads The ReSporter to that one player that had All-State accolades from that same (2009) defensive unit with an astounding nine interceptions for that one campaign.

Eric Nelson is one of many great defensive players that year, but having a player that consistently could change a game while turning the field back over to CL’s offense paid dividends.

Nelson also did the impossible while corralling a pass from a running team (Liberty Hill) that passed only when their offense was on the autobahn. (not very often)

You can also add two fumble recoveries/one caused fumble/ and Nelson totaled 73 tackles during this All-State season.

In that Liberty Hill game, Nelson caught more passes from the Liberty Hill quarterback than any of their own gang.

Nelson was that one player opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators were trying to avoid if at all possible. Somehow he would always have a chance to find a way to get to a ball and give the Hawk offense a chance to come back on the field.

Impressive player to hang your hat on, but with out a doubt, that 2009 defense was an incredible unit and helped turn a 1-9 season into a team that made the playoffs in their second year of varsity ball.

The Spotlight for a Hawk for this coming season will be McGuire Johnson.

Johnson eats and breaths football and having this player back for his Senior season will be a treat to watch.

This will be his third year playing varsity ball for Canyon Lake and his dedication and leadership might be just what the doctor ordered in trying to craft another defensive unit that can mirror that 2009 squad.

Other players that will have a say on how this season might transpire will be Javier and Isaac Mendez, Andrew Riali, Drake Phillips, Austin Kahil, and any other of the up and comers that are working on their strength and conditioning.

Canyon Lake will need this unit to perform at a much higher level than in previous years, hence The ReSporter mentioning that 2009 unit over and over.

That group of guys were nasty on the field of play and their attitude was infectious.

Can Johnson and his cohorts mimic that 2009 team? If they can, then this could be a special year for Canyon Lake.

Just counting Nelson and Richards turnovers, these two players forced 15 miscues during that 2009 season. Last year’s total defensive unit forced 14 turnovers.

That difference must change, to give your Hawks a change in scenery in looking at that win and loss numbers.