CL Special Teams Need Question Marks to be Exclamation Points
Remember this answer: 77
What is the number of consecutive point after’s that Mike Thorpe made after his last game against Waco La Vega?
That same young man made first team All-District as a Punter and second team All-District as a kicker.
There were two extra point tries that were blocked but only one missed try, in a career where Thorpe also made 9 out of 12 field goals.
That included the longest in Hawk history from 43 yards out in the Boerne game this past season.
Canyon Lake punted 31 times and Thorpe was also nails with a season average of 37.2 yards per kick.
This preface to Special Teams is how special Mike Thorpe was in his previous 3 campaigns and noting how big of a question mark the Hawk team will have going into this season.
Special Teams lost Matt Adams who was part of a Josh DeVries tandem for returns as two years ago DeVries finished his career with 2 kick-off returns for touchdowns along with Adams.
Canyon Lake has also returned 5 kick-offs in the past 3 years to go with Thorpe’s kicking duties. CL has not been a bad team in their overall special team unit to say the least.
It has been learned that Luke Justis might not play football this season wiping out all of those kick-off returns. Justis had a kick-off return last season as a Sophomore.
All other special teams answers is up in the air as Canyon Lake will be trying out several players to take the place of those kicking exploits for Thorpe.
“It will be done by committee,” Head Coach Charley Drum deduced. “We have talked to some kids, but we just don’t know who that player will be.”
When asked who might be some of the kick-off and punt returners, Coach Drum said, “Tanner Faris and Trenton Lorett will be looked at for kick-offs and punt returns.”
Canyon Lake has had only one touchdown by punt return that was back in 2010 when Richard Howell pulled off that return against Austin Travis.
“We spend about 25-30% of our time watching film and preparing for special teams,” Coach Drum assessed. “We try to do the best we can….we do not want our opponent to take over at midfield and would like to get them past the 40 yard line.”
That will be a pivotable part of CL’s game in hopes of winning those close games that come down to how a punt might have pinned an opponent deep in their own territory in helping prevent a chance for a quick score.
“Anytime you can get a touchdown on a punt or kick-off return and even a score on a turnover, then that would always be a something to strive for,” Coach Drum said
when asked what would give him a smiley face during a game.
“We have done well with our kick-off returns and onside kicks these past few years and we look to continue that practice,” Coach Drum said matter of factly.
Canyon Lake will have a different type of season coming up as each previous year, the Hawks, have had their open date after the first five non-district games before the games that count started.
By having only 5 teams in district, then there will be one team rotating with an off date during the last part of the year.
Austin Eastside Memorial was the only team in district able to schedule a game during that off week which allowed them to put an off week during the middle of the schedule.
The Hawks will have their off week coming before their final game with Taylor. Those past years has had the whole district not playing during the same week and this new wrinkle will force some different results not experienced before.
For CL, that means keeping the players on top of their game as they have 9 games to start the season not counting two weeks of playing scrimmages.
“It is a concern, we will have more depth this year but we are already planning and will have to up our communication of giving our players some rest time,” Drum said with resolve. “ We will have 11 straight weeks of practice and scheduled games and having more depth will help but we will not want to peak too early.”
Coach Drum was not finished as he parted by commenting, “We will be playing a 6A team before district without having that bye week.”
Those words come as coaches know how larger schools can beat many smaller schools with more athletes and the Hawks will hope to have all hands on deck as this season starts to mature.
Three parts for a team with Special Teams looking to have the largest question mark going into this set of games.
Scrimmages will usually be without Special Team plays and that makes this part of the game very scary and in hopes that a Hawk will be able to take over in some fashion to help this season.
A little more than a month away before the pads are tried out in Blanco.
Good Luck Canyon Lake and Go Hawks!