Football 2014: Circle Thunderbirds
Being defensive coordinator at a perennial football power such as Heights can draw a lot of attention for a coach.
But there was only one job that would even force Heath Henderson to consider leaving the Falcons.
“I told them that if Circle ever came open, that would be one I’d go for,” said Henderson, who got the job, taking over a team that went winless last season and managed one victory each of the previous two years.
For Henderson, adjustments will need to be made. For one, Circle is a big district but doesn’t have the talent pool that Heights has.
Still, he is enthusiastic for another chance to run a program after returning to Heights. Henderson coached West for four years, and even though the Pioneers managed just six victories in that span, he said his tenure wasn’t without some bright spots, thanks to the contributions of players such as brothers Jamez Jones and Arnez Jones.
At Circle, Henderson said he looking for big contributions from a group of seniors, led by quarterback Trey Davis, running back Clayton Perry and receiver Garrett Cannon.
Davis will be looked upon for leadership, Henderson said, and Perry will need to play more selfishly.
“We need him to be our bell cow,” Henderson said.
Cannon (6-foot-6, 190 pounds) will provide a good target for Davis when the Thunderbirds choose to pass out of the flexbone offense Henderson plans to install.
Henderson is also enthusiastic about senior fullback/linebacker Justin Wright.
“He might have been their best player last year,” Henderson said.
Wright will share time at fullback with senior Josh Walker, whom Henderson says is the team’s fastest player.
“The offense will center around them,” Henderson said.
And, should the players buy in to his ideas, it’s quite possible that the Thunderbird might start to resemble a Heights Falcon.
“They’re both birds of prey,” Henderson said.
A LOOK AT CIRCLE
Coach: Heath Henderson, first season
League: AV-CTL Division IV
Last season: 0-9
Last five seasons: 9-38
Projected 2013 playoff team? No
TOP SKILL PLAYERS
|Sept. 5||at Chapman|
|Sept. 26||at Andale|
|Oct. 10||at Clearwater|
|Oct. 16||El Dorado|
|Oct. 24||at Andover Central|
|Oct. 31||Topeka Hayden|
Trey Davis on his team
What Circle does best: “We run the ball pretty well. We’ve got three or four running backs, so we’re going to be good running the ball.”
What has to improve: “We’ve just got to get more kids out. We’re down in numbers and need to improve them so we can be fresh and ready to go. ”