Week 7 football preview: Winamac seeks 11th straight win over West Central
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
West Central (1-5) at Winamac (2-2), 7 p.m.
After scoring a grand total of six points in back-to-back losses to LaVille and North Judson, Winamac responded by amassing 314 yards of offense in a 28-12 win over Culver last week.
Trent Fox ran for 126 yards, and Jaden Terry ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
“We completely changed our system,” Winamac coach John Hendryx said. “I just think it fits our kids better, especially with some of the injuries that we’ve had. It spreads people out a little bit. So for the first time in the offense, I thought we did pretty good. We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to get cleaned up. We were pretty basic in it. We didn’t have a ton in yet, but I was pretty happy with our first time out in it.”
Hendryx, who was hired as Winamac coach in May, said a combination of factors led to the change in system. First, the team has suffered through a rash of injuries. Second, he’s still learning about the skill sets of his various players.
“My brother (assistant coach Mark Hendryx) and I laugh about it because our first year at Knox (2015), we changed offenses, we think, four times that first season that we were over there just trying to find the best fit for our kids. So it’s something that we’ve done before, and just like there, when we did that, we ended up pretty good. We got to the sectional final and got beat by the state runner-up (Whiting) in a pretty good game. And so we just had to keep tweaking it and find some things that we’re good at. We’ve got some limitations, and we understand what they are.
“So it helps us, and I’m glad we made the change.”
While Winamac tries to get more acclimated to its new offense, the defensive challenge this week will be trying to stop West Central quarterback Garrett Leman and fullback Kolten Kletz.
West Central is coming off a 35-0 loss to Eastern Hancock last week. West Central has lost four straight games since a 34-20 win over a winless South Newton team on Aug. 28.
Leman fills multiple roles.
“They’ve almost got two systems that they use,” Hendryx said. “They’ll use like a flexbone system, and they’ll use a spread system. In one offense, he’s more of a run threat because of the option game that they run. And when they get into their spread stuff, he’ll throw some from the pocket, but then they’ll get him out from behind the center a little bit. He’s doing a lot for their offense.”
Kletz will be used in more outside veer plays in the flexbone. And sometimes, they’ll run lead plays where Kletz runs behind the wingbacks blocking in front of him.
Winamac has won the last 10 meetings against West Central, a sectional rival. That includes a 52-8 Winamac win at West Central last year.