Memories of Cano

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 10, 2008

By Mike London
Frank Santore, whose voice once roared on WRKB Wonder Radio, loved Kevin Cano.
To Santore, Cano was the “Honduran Hurricane,” and the 240-pound defensive lineman kept blowing in to disrupt A.L. Brown’s opponents in 2005. With each sack, Cano forced Santore to raise an already window-shattering voice several decibel levels.
But the popular, genial “Hurricane” is gone now, shot down in Charlotte Friday along with fellow A.L. Brown graduate Jamie Gill.
Cano was one of the Post’s Friday Night Heroes in 2005 when he was a junior. He’d had an unbelievable game to turn the tide against Sun Valley, and he told his story. His parents had come from Honduras. Soccer and Spanish were staples in the Cano household, but he learned English and American football in his Kannapolis neighborhood.
When he first learned the rules of football ó a sport in which pounding people was perfectly legal ó the big kid knew he’d found his calling. He started playing in John Peoples’ youth league and went on from there.
He was a great player as a junior. There was a night at Porter Ridge he picked up a fumble and sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown. He wore No. 90 because of Julius Peppers, and he looked like Peppers on that play.
His biggest moment came in the 2005 playoffs when the Wonders traveled to play undefeated West Rowan in the third round. DB Jamie Cunningham blitzed and knocked the ball loose from West quarterback Shane Weimer. It was Cano who was there to scoop it up. He scored a touchdown that was a turning point in a stunning upset.
An injury wrecked Cano’s senior season, and that was a great shame.
If not for the injury, he may have been getting ready to play a college football game Friday instead of being a murder victim.