Week 3 football preview: Winamac opens Hendryx era with home game vs. North White
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
North White (0-2) at Winamac (0-0), 7 p.m.
Winamac football coach John Hendryx doesn’t like playing coaches’ kids. They are immersed in the game and just think about the game differently than other players.
Yet in his first game as Winamac coach, Hendryx and the Warriors will host a coach’s kid. Specifically, it’s Eli Quasebarth and the North White Vikings. Quasebarth is coach Kirk Quasebarth’s son. A freshman, Eli Quasebarth starts at both quarterback on offense and cornerback on defense.
“Anytime you play coaches’ kids, they’re a little bit different,” Hendryx said. “They don’t just go to practice and practice football, go home and leave and wait until the next day. They’re at home, and they’re talking about it all the time. They talk about it in the summer. They talk about it at dinner. So it’s a little bit different animal. You can tell he’s a football-smart kid. He’s got a good control of what they’re wanting offensively. … I’ve probably been the most impressed with him as a corner defensively. He had an interception in the first week (against Taylor), and last week, he had a couple plays that looked like he might have been beat deep, but he had great recoveries and ended up getting both those balls knocked down. So he’s a good DB for a kid who’s probably 14, 15 years old.”
Winamac is adapting to the 4-3 defense that Hendryx brought with him from Knox. Hendryx speaks of a concept called “run fits” that takes time. In other words, every player has a place on the field that they have to be able to fit in the run game. An inside run and an outside run have totally different “fits” for the defense just as defending a screen pass or a pass in the flat.
Their first test is a North White team that scored only 12 points in their first two games combined.
“That’s been our biggest thing,” Hendryx said. “Defensively, just everything is just brand new, from the way we practice to all the new terminology. I wouldn’t say that’s been the hardest adjustment for them, but it’s really been different. But they’ve taken to it well. The good news is it’s something they’ve picked up pretty quick.”
Offensively, Hendryx said that the carries will be split behind quarterback Russell Compton. Trent Fox has the most experience of any returning running back, but he’s not the only capable back.
“It will be spread out,” Hendryx said. “We have three tailbacks. Two of them are going to get the majority of the tailback carries in Trent Cox and Hayden Clark. And we’ve got a freshman who looks really, really good. We don’t know how much he’ll be involved, but we’d like to get him the ball some, and that’s Jadon Jones. And then our wingbacks will be involved in the run game, and there are three of those in Jaden Terry, Braden Lynch and Shaun Pratt. And then Russell Compton will get involved in the run game. We’re not just going to give the ball to one kid 25 times. We want to get a lot of guys involved. That’s kind of always been our philosophy. We’ve always had a system that’s used a lot of running backs. It’s rare for us to just have that giant rushing kid.”
Being able to establish the run could be crucial as North White yielded 248 rushing yards to Frontier in a 26-0 loss last week.
Winamac has won 13 consecutive meetings against North White. They have not lost to North White since 2004.
With games against Knox and Pioneer having been canceled, Winamac’s first three games are at home. The Warriors host conference rivals LaVille and North Judson the next two weeks.