FLS Varsity brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school sports.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Salazar’s role? Bit of everything
Finding a role for senior German Salazar was a dilemma for Courtland football coach J.C. Hall.
“I really didn’t know at the beginning of the year where or how he was going to fit in, I’ll be honest with you,” said Hall, who laughs at the thought now.
Would it be cornerback? Wide receiver? Punt returner? Kick returner? Punter?
How about all of them and more.
“I mean, it’s gotten to the point where German rarely comes off the field,” Hall said.
Salazar, listed at 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds on the Cougars roster, has been one of the most versatile players in the Fredericksburg area, manning several spots and excelling at all of them.
His biggest impact, however, has come on defense, where he has gathered six interceptions, including two in Friday’s comeback win against GW–Danville in the 4A-North region quarterfinals.
The Cougars (10–2) won 56–34 to advance to Friday’s semifinals at Sherando.
One of Salazar’s interceptions against the visiting Eagles, who led 21–7 in the second quarter, came deep in GW territory and set up a touchdown. Salazar returned the other 54 yards for his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“That was my first career touchdown actually,” said Salazar, The Free Lance-Star’s player of the week. “I was excited, mostly for my team though, that I got to contribute for my team.”
Salazar’s small stature allows him to fly under the radar most of the time.
“Every time I go out there for pregame I see the receivers looking at me like, ‘You’re small,’” said Salazar, whose first name is pronounced Herman. “I just keep my mouth shut and play the game.”
Not everyone overlooks Salazar, however. GW–Danville coach Nick Anderson expressed his admiration for Salazar’s ability to Hall before their playoff matchup.
“He was just saying, ‘Man, that No. 1 for you guys, I think he’s underrated,’” Hall said. “I said, ‘I’m going to be honest with you, he’s our rattlesnake.’ He’s feisty. He’s undersized. He’s short and doesn’t have the best speed in the world, but he just manages to do well with what he has.”
Salazar is also an asset as a blocker, which comes in very handy with Courtland’s run-heavy Wing-T offense.
Salazar is one of several players who have helped pave the way for the Cougars’ three 1,000-yard running backs—Anton Jenkins (1,199 yards, 25 TDs), Victor Greene (1,073, 13) and George Cheetham (1,027, 10).
Jenkins, Greene and Cheetham are believed to be the first 1,000-yard trio from the same team in Fredericksburg-area football history. All three have rushed for at least 100 yards in three of the last four games.
“It’s kind of taken on it’s own identity,” Hall said. “Everybody is kind of like, ‘Yeah we’re a running football team. We’re Wing-T. We have three 1,000-yard running backs, and we’re willing to do whatever, whenever to get those guys going.’”
Along those same lines, Salazar said he’s eager to play anywhere his coaches ask him to play, with the possible exception of the offensive or defensive line.
“I worked my tail off in the offseason, so I expected it actually,” Salazar said of his heavy workload this season. “I have confidence in all the positions they put me in.”
Tyler Bailey (North Stafford DB) 3 INTs, TD; David Dit (James Monroe K) set area record with his 16th and 17th FGs of season; Daniel Ezeagwu (Colonial Forge WR/DB) 52-yard TD reception, INT, FR; Anton Jenkins (Courtland RB) 161 rushing yards, 4 TDs; Gary Jennings (Colonial Forge QB) 145 rushing yards, 2 TDs; Javonte Latney (Massaponax RB) 144 rushing yards, 2 TDs; Von Purvis (North Stafford RB) 147 rushing yards, 2 TDs; Malik Shabazz (Colonial Forge DB) INT return TD, FR; Alphonso Trice (Massaponax QB) 155 rushing yards, 2 TDs, passing TD
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442