published Monday, September 1st, 2014

Greater Chattanooga area Prep Player of the week: Maynor starting strong at QB for Trojans

Player of the Week honorable mention

(Coaches are invited to nominate players by emailing Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com by 2 p.m. each Saturday)

Blake Zeman, Marion County: The senior rushed for 212 yards (24 carries) and four TDs and also

Logan Meeks, Grundy County: He had 203 yards of offense on nine rushing attempts and three receptions and also returned an interception 55 yards, finishing with two TDs and a two-point conversion.

Kareem Orr, Notre Dame: He caught seven passes for 107 yards and three TDs and threw a TD pass. He also deflected a pass that was intercepted by a teammate and led to an Irish score.

Hunter Maynor already held quality status among his teachers and fellow students at Soddy-Daisy.

He is a quality student, a member of the Trojans’ renowned wrestling team and also a pitcher for the baseball team. It is in the past two weeks and on the football field, though, that the senior’s status has been enhanced within the school and the community.

For the second week in a row, the quarterback turned in a five-touchdown passing night, completing 16 of 26 attempts for 312 yards. Those efforts in a 43-30 victory over Red Bank earned him Best of Preps Player of the Week honors.

Although coming off spring hip surgery (that cost him all but two games of this past baseball season), Maynor has now thrown 10 TD passes in his first two games and is averaging 276 passing yards with a 65.9 completion percentage.

Soddy-Daisy coach Justin Barnes said Maynor used time for recovery and rehab in the spring and summer to make himself a better quarterback.

“He studied our offense and we’d talk and then he’d go home and watch film from last year,” the coach said. “Something he struggled with last year was his timing on making the throw. He said last year was a blur for him – assignments and protections. This year he knows those things and doesn’t have to stop and think. It’s second nature because of the work he put in during the off-season.”

Maynor no longer waits for receivers to make their cuts but most often has the ball waiting.

“Last year he knew the play was going to develop but struggled with the throws. He’s getting it out there now before they make their cuts,” Barnes said.

It helps, too, Maynor said in a postgame conversation, that he has quality receivers and an offensive line that his given him time to make his reads and throws.

“We have four good receivers — Tre Carter, Levi Thornton, Blake Smith and Chase Payne — so we feel like we have guys that can get open, and one of the big things as opposed to last year is that he’s getting a little more time. The guys up front are giving him a chance,” said Barnes, adding that the emergence of running back Christian Bell had also given the offense a boost.

But the offense still evolves around the quarterback, who is likely to get college baseball offers as a left-handed pitcher but who also could wind up getting football offers.

“He isn’t yet on anybody’s radar. We’ve sent out some film to get him some exposure,” Barnes said. “I think he’d like to go play, but he’s also hoping to get some looks in baseball. There’s always a place for somebody to play. It may not be a Tennessee or a Georgia, but Hunter has really good grades — grades that are good enough to get him in places where they have higher academic standards.”

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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