Ultra-versatile Kohl Henke a 'grinder' for Boyd-Buchanan

Ultra-versatile Kohl Henke a 'grinder' for Boyd-Buchanan

October 6th, 2017 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Boyd-Buchanan's Kohl Henke (1) throws a stiff arm to get around Grace's Ross Adams (2). The Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers visited the Grace Baptist Academy Eagles in TSSAA football action of September 22, 2017.

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

When Boyd-Buchanan suffered an injury bug that left the team already short on players even shorter, Kohl Henke was there.

"If we asked him to play offensive guard and he asked a question, it would probably only be 'Which side?'" Buccaneers coach Carter Cardwell said.

As he sought the perfect description of his versatile senior, Cardwell paused and then recalled a quote his son had shared: "You don't finish when you're tired. You finish when you're done."

When Henke came to the sideline as the Bucs kicked an extra point last week, Cardwell asked him, "You OK?"

Henke sucked in a breath of air before responding, "I'm good."

Boyd-Buchanan's Kohl Henke (1) goes airborne as he is hit by Grace's Adam Echols (12). The Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers visited the Grace Baptist Academy Eagles in TSSAA football action of September 22, 2017.

Boyd-Buchanan's Kohl Henke (1) goes airborne as he...

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

"Grinder" was one of the adjectives Cardwell used to describe the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga commitment.

"The kid grinds away at being as good as he can be, and that goes for his academics, too," he said. "No drill to him is half-speed; no practice is half-speed. There's no let-up. He understands the intensity level a player needs to have on every play. He has always been a good-effort player, but now everything he does is 100 percent full tilt."

The kickoff, PAT and field-goal teams are the only ones from which Henke, who's had more than a dozen scholarship offers, is absent.

"I have to contribute. We don't have that many players. But even if we had 60 or 70 I'd want to be out there," he said.

"Kohl's exactly the opposite of what you think you might get from a kid with scholarship offers and one that has made a (college football) commitment," Cardwell said in reflection. "Sometimes a guy gets an offer and he wants to just play the position he's going to play in college. Kohl is just enjoying playing football."

Already a three-time Best of Preps selection, Henke has filled in at quarterback the past two seasons in addition to playing linebacker, running back, receiver and, his favorite, safety.

"I like to hit. That my favorite part of the game, and it's always been that way," he said.

"He graded 89 percent last week as a slot guy, and he had eight and a half tackles," Cardwell said. "He's a contact football player. We have a few kids on the team that we say hit heavy. They don't just tackle people. They hit them and knock them back.

"Kohl had a lot of offers — the majority of the Southern Conference and OVC teams plus the military academies. He's committed to UTC, but I'd be surprised if some of the (FBS) teams didn't come back around in November."

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


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