Editors’ note: The Dispatch will post articles from its 2011
South Valley high school football preview tab this week, starting
today with previews of the area’s eight-man teams, Anchorpoint and
Anzar, and a feature on Sobrato fullback Obi Mbonu.
At Anchorpoint Christian High School, there is a winning
tradition firmly ingrained into the 8-man football program
established by coach KC Adams.
Editors’ note: The Dispatch will post articles from its 2011 South Valley high school football preview tab this week, starting today with previews of the area’s eight-man teams, Anchorpoint and Anzar, and a feature on Sobrato fullback Obi Mbonu.
At Anchorpoint Christian High School, there is a winning tradition firmly ingrained into the 8-man football program established by coach KC Adams.
For the past four seasons the Warriors bruised and battered opponents to the tune of four consecutive league championships, finding ways to win despite low enrollment numbers and subsequent low player turnout.
By now, Adams is used to getting the best out of what he’s got, and with 13 players on the roster for the 2011 season, he is determined to do it again.
“You only need eight to play,” Adams said with an assuredness to his tone. “We have very coachable kids this year. We are probably the smartest we’ve ever been. We’re not as physical or as big, but we are smart as a team.”
The small roster caused Adams to get creative with his game planning, though, he still expects his offense to put up jaw-dropping statistics.
“We have to be a totally different team,” he said. “It’s going to be finesse now. We completely changed our offense. We are going to put points up. We’ve been doing it since March, so we are pretty good at it by now.”
If Adams wants physicality, he need look no further than senior Kareem Lucas, who with his 6-foot, 215-pound frame has made a habit out of gobbling up yardage in chunks. Lucas, the league’s MVP in 2010, ran for 1,413 yards on just 81 carries last fall, often times playing just one half on offense.
“Kareem has done everything we have asked of him – and then some,” Adams said. “He doesn’t miss a workout. He leads by example.”
Doing what Adams asks takes on a new meaning this season, as Lucas will not take on his normal tailback role. Instead he is shifting to quarterback, a position he got a taste of in the Warriors’ final game of the 2010 season.
“He’s not a quarterback, but he has worked his butt off to become one,” Adams said.
Another key returning figure is fullback/linebacker Austin Keathley, who reported to camp 20 pounds heavier, Adams said.
“He has rose to the occasion like never before,” Adams said. “He took it upon himself. He is our best utility player.”
Keathley said he is looking forward to the opportunity to dive headlong into the action.
“We are definitely going to try and outperform everybody,” Keathley said. “We have a lot of speed. I think I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Collin Minyard, who has slowly but surely developed into a quality wide receiver, will again see his role increase. Minyard registered four receiving touchdowns last season and Adams expects to see that number at least double.
“He’s a guy that’s back stronger, faster,” Adams said. “This is the first year he has trained all year. That made me happy.”
Senior Stephen Hunter, a converted soccer player, is set to make his debut with the Warriors, and according to Adams, it’s a much anticipated appearance.
“He’s just a natural athlete,” Adams said. “For us he is a blessing.”
Hunter will assume the running back position vacated by Lucas.
For all the offensive projected firepower, Adams foresees one point of apprehension.
“Defensively, I don’t know how we are going to stop people, he said. “That’s my question mark.”
The Warriors open the season Saturday at Cornerstone Christian.
Who to watch: Kareem Lucas makes the switch from running back to quarterback
Watching Kareem Lucas bulldoze his way past would-be tacklers is comical in a way – a-man-among-boys scenario.
Lucas has rushed for more than 2,000 yards and found the end zone 48 times, via rushing receiving and passing in two seasons with the Warriors.
His talents often go unnoticed at a school that fields an 8-man football team.
“He’s the best athlete I’ve ever had,” Anchorpoint coach KC Adams said. “He deserves the credit that everybody else gets. But by being at this small school he doesn’t get the attention that I think he deserves.”
Far be it for Lucas to complain. He feels right at home.
“I’ve thought about leaving, but I have all this support here from family and friends. It really is like a family here,” Lucas said, looking toward teammate Austin Keathley. “Like this guy here, he’s my brother.”
Following a forgettable freshman year at Sobrato High School, with failing grades and a bit of out-of-the-classroom trouble, Lucas ended up at Anchorpoint under the tutelage of Adams and the rest of the teaching staff.
“I didn’t do so well. I was lost, got into some trouble and I came here,” Lucas said. “I’ve gotten way better as a player being here. And, for the first time, I have my grades up. There’s been a lot of one-on-one time. It’s been good.”
Warriors roster: Caleb Brown, Stephen Hunter, Nico Moffitt, Kareem Lucas, Austin Keathley, Joshua Golisano, Jacob Banales, Bailey Scott, Isaiah Ahumada, Collin Minyard, Aaron Avena, Devon Jones and Fernando Sierra.
Saturday: At Cornerstone, TBA
Sept. 10: At Rincon Valley, 2
Sept. 16 Kings Christian, 7
*Sept. 23 At Anzar, 6
*Oct. 1 At Alma Heights, 1
*Oct. 15 Trinity, 7
*Oct. 28 At Pinewood, 3:30