Kantor’s Cobras, ship turning in the right direction

Hudson High receiver

At the end of March, Mark Kantor had this to say after being hired as the head football coach at Hudson High, “I am ecstatic to be named Head Coach at Hudson High School. We are going to get the ship turned around. It is going to take some hard work and we are going to get it in the right direction.”

Has Kantor started that process? The former Gaither Head Football Coach from 2002-2010 led the Cowboys to the playoffs 3 times (2006-2008) including a District Championship in 2007 and an overall record of 42-53.

But now he jumps into a new county with a Hudson High Cobra team that have lost 22 games in a row since late in the 2009 season.

Well, we took a minute to check on the progress Kantor and his staff have made thus far. Coach Kantor spoke highly of is young QB, “Joey Caruso is a sophomore and will be a heck of a QB.” Entering the spring, the Cobras had a true concern at RB, but it seems the job will be by committee. “We have some depth at running back (Justyn Johnson, Noah Siegrist and Conner French). Which was a major concern when we started this summer, because our leading running back broke his elbow and we really didn’t have a backup and now we do. “

Coach Kantor also believes that the spring and summer 7 on7 has been very beneficial to his team. “Doing this 7 on 7 stuff, it’s good to get your passing game in, find out if guys can play man defense or if they can play zone defense, can they understand schemes. We have a receiver that stepped up during the offseason and has been catching the rock. His name is Adams Nichols. We have some people who have come back from injury or were ineligible in the spring and are now eligible.”

Participation has increased tremendously since the 2011 season. Kantor said that last year, he believes they had [Hudson] about 25 guys on varsity. This year the Cobras will be close to 40. So the numbers are good. But, can they play and gel together? That’s going to be the difference.

New county, new class, new district equals new competition. “It’s not like we are playing Armwood, Jefferson, Plant and Hillsborough every week. The competition in our district is pretty good with Pasco as the favorite as always. Anclote is so athletic, they remind me of Middleton, when Hub [Harry Hubbard, Middleton head football coach from 2002 – 2008 ] with OJ [Murdock] and them. And I think Fivay will be good. It’s going to take us some time to rebuild. If we can be competitive in the games we need to be competitive in, we have a shot at winning some football games and doing well.

The offensive line has five returners. Those guys are young with only two seniors out of the bunch. The defensive line is also young, returning just one senior. Jamie Hamby (slot/S), Owen Derksen (slot) and Jacob Heintezlman (lb/slot/TE) will be the go to guys this year as the new staff will depend on them heavily to provide leadership and make plays.

Assistant coaches have provided encouragement to Mark Kantor voicing their opinion of the progress. “A bunch of coaches have been telling me, what they’ve seen, just how things are organized compared to last year. Just to see the effort the kids are making and just how things are flowing like a football team, they are very impressed.”

Can the Cobras win games? “We will be alright as long as we can play defense, be good at special teams and move the football offensively,” Mark Kantor.