Athlete of the Week: Improved Entsminger leading way for Warriors
STEPHENS CITY — Hunter Entsminger is seeing things differently this season and it’s showing on the field.
The Sherando junior quarterback said he has better eye discipline and he’s making better reads this season, which have helped lead to more success.
“Last year I missed a few reads, Millbrook game specifically,” Entsminger said after Tuesday’s football practice. “I remember the Millbrook game I missed a few reads here and there that could have helped us out. So really this year getting all my reads, reading the defense properly and getting my eyes where they need to be really has helped me out big time.”
Entsminger, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 23-29, has 23 touchdown passes this season with only three interceptions.
Last week in a 49-7 rout of Fauquier, Entsminger threw five touchdown passes. The five touchdown passes tied his own school record. Entsminger was 11-for-13 for 256 passing yards in the win.
Entsminger said he had plenty of help in getting the five touchdown passes.
“It was just everyone doing their job,” Entsminger said. “The line came out blocked a great game for me. And then the receivers running the right routes and making plays when they had the ball in their hands.”
Sherando coach Bill Hall said Entsminger’s success starts with his preparation in the off season and during the week. Hall said Entsminger knows Sherando’s playbook and understands what the team is trying to accomplish with each play.
Hall said Entsminger is like having another coach out on the field, and he can fix the offensive alignment if he needs to based on the coverage of the defense.
“When you look at my (play) call sheet it’s like crazy big, and the fact that he knows it says a lot,” Hall said. “He’s a really smart kid, very cerebral. And he understands what we’re trying to accomplish with a play. So that’s what allows him to be really successful.”
Entsminger has thrown for 1,776 yards on 96-for-138 passing. He has completed 69.6 percent of his passes, and Hall said there have been four games where Entsminger only played one half of football due to the score of the game.
He is just one touchdown shy of the school record for touchdowns in a season. Hall said former Division 1 college football player Ross Metheny and 2016 Sherando graduate Pat Minteer hold the record of 24 touchdowns in a season.
Entsminger said it’s great to think that he’s accomplishing some of the same things performed by other Sherando quarterbacks.
“Sherando’s had great quarterbacks throughout the years,” Entsminger said. “We’re pretty much known for having great quarterbacks. So being up there with people like Ross Metheny — it’s a great honor.”
One of Sherando’s top former quarterbacks was Entsminger’s brother, Reid.
Hunter Entsminger said that his brother, a 2014 Sherando graduate, has been a big help to him.
“He’s definitely helped me out when I was a little freshman and stuff like that,” Hunter Entsminger said. “He was always there when I needed help. And so really him helping me out, being the big brother that he is, it was a great help.”
Hunter Entsminger said that he didn’t start playing quarterback until eighth grade. Entsminger was the backup quarterback to Minteer his freshman year.
Last year was Entsminger’s first as starter and he said the biggest thing he had to do was control his nerves.
“I remember the first game against Louisa I threw up so many times before it,” Entsminger said. “So really I just had to push through all the nerves. And really just be like OK you can do this. You can hang with all them. So getting through that was the hardest part.”
Entsminger said his favorite part of playing football is just the competitive nature of the game and playing under pressure. He said he loves the pressure moments that come with playing at quarterback.
Sherando is 7-2 and plays at Frederick County rival Millbrook on Friday. A win would give the Warriors a playoff berth.
Entsminger, who also plays baseball for the Warriors, said he doesn’t have any goals for himself for the rest of the season; he just wants the team to win.
“I just want to make the playoffs,” Entsminger said. “I want to win this game, make the playoffs and go from there. It’s all I’m thinking about.”