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Blue Demons Kory Hendricks and Tanner Reed plan to make up for some lost time tonight against Salem.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Kory Hendricks (left) and Tanner Reed of the Christiansburg High School football team pause during practice on Wednesday. Both players lost significant playing time last fall with shoulder injuries, but are making up lost ground this season.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Tanner Reed (left) watches from the backfield as teammate Kory Hendricks runs the ball against Hidden Valley during the schools’ Sept. 27 matchup.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
CHRISTIANSBURG — Senior running backs Tanner Reed and Kory Hendricks shoulder much of the load offensively for Christiansburg’s football team.
That’s a big change from 2012, when both Blue Demons were nursing shoulder injuries.
Reed missed Christiansburg’s first six games last year after suffering a broken collarbone for the third time in his career. Hendricks went down for the season in Week 6 with a torn labrum that required surgery.
“They were never on the field together last year at all,” Christiansburg coach Tim Cromer said.
Reed and Hendricks are making up for lost time this fall, combining for 1,110 yards in the Blue Demons’ 5-1 start.
The 6-foot, 173-pound Reed has rushed for 592 yards on 90 carries and is a full-time starter on defense. The 5-foot-9, 147-pound Hendricks has added 418 yards on 65 attempts, and he leads Christiansburg with eight touchdowns. The two halfbacks relish any remaining opportunity to put on a uniform, beginning with tonight’s showdown at home against Salem.
“I think we both bring a competitive edge because we both know how bad it is to sit out,” Reed said.
Reed knows the feeling more than most high school players.
He broke his left collarbone three years ago when he was on Christiansburg’s JV team. Four games into his sophomore year in 2011, Reed cracked his right collarbone.
Then last August during the team’s preseason intrasquad scrimmage, Reed broke the right collarbone again.
“The first time, I heard it snap,” Reed said. “That itself scared me to death. And that hurt. The past two years I didn’t even cry until I knew it was broken. It’s pretty painful, because when you’re walking you can feel the bones grind together.
“I guess it was kind of a good thing it happened early because I got to finish the season with the team.”
Reed was released for competition last fall by his physician, Marc Siegel.
“Tanner’s dad is my best friend from high school,” Cromer said. “He basically let me know when the season was over that when Dr. Siegel released him, he released him with caution and didn’t really feel like the bone had healed back.
“He’s a tough kid, to do it three years in a row and come back maybe just a little early.”
Hendricks did not have a choice.
He injured his right shoulder during a tackle after he fielded a punt last October against Pulaski County.
“I was just trying to make a play, but when I picked up the ball some dude hit me and I put my arm down,” Hendricks said. “I tried to break my fall, but the momentum just popped my arm up.
“I’m happy because it could have been a lot worse. That’s the way I look at it.”
Hendricks has two permanent screws in his right shoulder.
“When it rains, I can feel the screws,” he said. “It’s kind of weird.”
His real pain came from watching in street clothes as Christiansburg progressed to the Region IV Division 5 championship game where the Blue Demons were eliminated by Salem.
“It’s a sad thing, seeing your team out there and wishing you could be out there with them,” Hendricks said.
Reed and Hendricks might not have enjoyed major roles in the offense in 2012 had they been healthy.
Christiansburg featured University of Charleston (W.Va.) recruits Joey Augustin and De’Quan Green-Gause, who combined for 2,120 yards and 29 TDs last year during the regular season. Augustin alternated between quarterback and running back.
“When we went through the stretch with Joey at quarterback, [Reed and Hendricks] most likely would have been the two halfbacks with De’Quan at tailback,” Cromer said. “When we got out of the Pistol and got back to having two backs in the backfield, they would have rotated.”
Reed, who won the 100-meter dash title in the River Ridge District track and field meet, joins Hendricks as a weapon running the “jet sweep” in Christiansburg’s offense.
Much of the inside work is done by converted guard Logan Adkins, who has run for 335 yards including 129 two weeks ago in a victory over Hidden Valley.
“I think we’ve got a nice mix,” Cromer said. “Logan’s running really hard in the ‘A gap’ and our jets are hitting it pretty wide. I think we can be a little more deceptive now.”
Hendricks’ playing time in the 2013 season opener against Pulaski County was limited because of cramps. That stung somewhat since his father, Kirk, was a star running back for the Cougars in the mid-1980s.
“I’ve actually watched his films,” Hendricks said. “He was pretty good.”
Hendricks and Reed are among several Christiansburg players sporting mohawk haircuts. Reed’s was dyed gold, while Hendricks had a reddish-brown hue earlier this week.
“I got mine during outdoor track,” Hendricks said. “Then they came up with the color idea. Now we’re just rolling with it. It’s a football thing.”
Hendricks hopes to play college football. Reed might have other plans.
“I want to become a police officer and a detective eventually,” Reed said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
That way, maybe he can put the collar on someone else.
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