RJ Engel is a senior wide receiver for Hurricane who with size and speed will be a key to the Redskins success this season.
RJ flashed some of that potential Friday night in Hurricane's 24-13 win over Winfield. Engel caught two passes for 62 yards, including Hurricane's first touchdown of the season as he snagged a 31 yard TD pass from Austin Womack.
When asked why he decided to return to the gridiron for the first time since his freshman year Engel responded, "It's my senior year in high school and the last chance to play any sport, so I thought I would play and try to help bring a championship to the city."
As to why he has not played the last 3 seasons Engel told me "freshman year my best friend suffered through a bad incident and I just kind of fell out of love with the sport, with my height I thought I would try basketball, and found I was not any good at that, so here I am."
RJ expressed the hard work put in by he and his teammates, and after some early struggles the offense show some glimpses of what they are capable of on Friday night as they gained 380 yards versus Winfield.
As far as his two quarterbacks RJ says that Nathan Roy has "a great football mind" and that Austin Womack "works so hard, I have to give it to him he busted his tail all summer and every day." On Friday both QBs alternated series with Womack going 7-12 for 124 yards and Roy 4-8 for 21 yards.
When I asked Engel about his the team's receivers, he sees his speed and size providing a deep threat which will lighted the load on workhorse RB Christian Hill. He says "Nate Barham is lighting fast has good hands and runs great routes." Freshman Chase Hager, who caught 3 passes for 39 yards on Friday "is going to be a handful for defenses all year, he is smart and tough and I hope he continues to do great."
Engel also gave a shout out to the team's offensive line, who overcame adversity Friday night, and he pointed to the line's depth and hard work as paying dividends.
RJ pointed out that a former Hurricane coach, Chuck Leadman as having an influence on him, "he coached my cousin (Jacob) and he is hard on me, he was always a favorite coach of mine."
As far as Engel's goals for the season he offered" I just want to make the team better and do everything I can to keep us winning."
Although he has not played the past 3 season's RJ is aware that Cabell Midland has become as big a rival as Winfield, and after 3 straight road contests "than we have Midland coming in for Homecoming with a packed house rooting us on, it is going to be crazy?"