Chris Combs ushers in a new era for Enterprise football as the new head coach for the Hornets. He takes over a program that has struggled with consistency the past three seasons, a stretch of three straight losing campaigns. Combs has his guy at quarterback in third-year varsity player Leslie Cummings, who has the capabilities to be dynamic with both his arm and his legs if he stays healthy. That’s the big question mark this season.
Let’s take a look at some figures for the Hornets as they enter the 2018 season:
Consistency is key. Enterprise has only started the season with a new head coach three times since 1993 with Russell McWilliams (2016-17), Darren Trueblood (2003-15) and Clay Erro (1993-2002). Although Combs was the interim for the final few games in 2016, he becomes the fourth.
Enterprise had a balanced receiving corps last year with four players totaling 300 receiving yards – the only team in Shasta County to achieve that feat. Matthew Amasaki (315 yards) and Sean McDonald (306 yards) are two of those four who rank second and third, respectively, in the county among those eligible to return this fall.
Cummings turned in team-bests in passing (1,242 yards) and rushing (453 yards) last season, marking only the second time in the MaxPreps era player lead the team in both statistical categories. Alex Henderson, who also starred as a middle linebacker, did it for the 3-7 Hornets in 2010, racking up 90 more passing yards on 19 more completions and 132 more rushing yards on 88 more attempts.
Rally cries come at opportune times. Enterprise scored a season-high 49 points in a 49-34 victory over Paradise on Oct. 27, marking the most points scored between the two since a 63-62 overtime Hornet victory in 2015. It was the first game Combs took over as head coach of the varsity program following McWilliams’ resignation, which came after a 47-0 defeat to archrival Shasta in the annual River Bowl.
Despite going 4-7 on the season, the Hornets turned in a plus-3 turnover margin. It’s rare for a team with a losing record to have more takeaways than giveaways. The Hornets had eight fumble recoveries and 12 interceptions, six of which were by now-graduated Tyler Hafner who ranked fourth in the section.
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