Prep football: West's Hosch to Greensboro

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2011

By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA — Kendall Hosch has every reason to believe Greensboro College is the right fit for his education and the right place to extend his football career.
Greensboro feels like home. After all, Greensboro’s head coach is Dr. Randy Hunt, while Bill Young coordinates the Pride’s defense.
“Hunt and Young,” Hosch said with a chuckle. “I’ve been playing for coaches named Hunt and Young for a long time. It’ll be great if works out as well at Greensboro as it did at West.”
Things did work out OK at West for Hosch where head coach Scott Young and defensive coordinator David Hunt have crafted a 46-game winning streak with a perfect storm of talent and dedication. West owns the state’s — and the nation’s — longest run of success.
Hosch has just about forgotten what losing feels like. Like other members of West’s Class of 2011, he never lost a varsity game. He was brought up for the playoff run in 2008 as a sophomore, then started on back-to-back 16-0 3A champions.
“I loved it, just being a part of all that,” Hosch said. “No matter who we played we played like we expected to win and we always did what we had to do.”
Hosch was part of the best West defense ever, according to all the quantifiable stats available. West allowed 7.1 points a game, counting five playoff matchups — the final three against high-powered offenses.
The Falcons forced 47 turnovers, posted a school-record six shutouts and didn’t allow a points in the first half the entire regular season. West’s defense turned in back-to-back-to-back shutouts for the first time. The three victims — and we’re not making this stuff up — were Davie, Salisbury and Mooresville.
You’ve probably heard that Salisbury won the 2AA state championship. Davie played in the 4A title game. Mooresville averaged 28 points a game. Enough said.
Not surprisingly, Hosch is the sixth senior from that dynamite defensive unit moving on to play college or prep school football with the assistance of either academic or athletic scholarships.
A seventh will be announced soon. Stellar defensive lineman Emmanuel Gbunblee, the NPC Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to accept an offer from Brevard.
“There are a lot of us going on,” Hosch said cheerfully. “We’re proud of that.”
Hosch played the drop end in West’s “50” defense, which meant he was part linebacker and part safety.
The position requires versatility. He had to be stout enough to hold his own at the line of scrimmage while taking on blocks from much larger people. He also had to be quick enough to defend the pass in open spaces.
“It takes a special athlete and a smart kid to play the position, but he did a very steady job for us,” Scott Young said.
At 5-foot-11, and maybe 180 pounds, give or take, Hosch was far from the most imposing Falcon physically.
He didn’t grab headlines, but he did grab plenty of ballcarriers. He also grabbed interceptions in marquee games against NPC challengers Carson and West Iredell.
In West’s regular season finale against North Iredell, the Raiders came out running option in his direction, but he had a stop for a 3-yard loss and another tackle that wrecked NI’s opening drive.
“I’m pretty sure they saw on film that I’d been a little lax the previous week,” Hosch said. “They came at me some, but I had a pretty good game.”
In the 3A state championship game against Eastern Alamance — his final high school outing — Hosch contributed an important play.
B.J. Sherrill had thrown an interception on the game’s third snap, and Eastern had the ball first-and-10 at the West 38 with a chance to jump on top. Eastern Alamance’s first offensive play gained 6 yards, but on second-and-4, Hosch made a stop in the backfield for a loss to force third-and-long.
After the Falcons stuffed a run and hurried a pass, the threat was history.
Hosch finished his day with four tackles, just one quiet cog in a marvelous machine that eventually overwhelmed Eastern 34-7, even with Sherrill forced to the sideline with a concussion.
A National Honor Society member, Hosch hits the books as well as receivers, and his 4.0 GPA enabled Division III Greensboro to recruit him via academic scholarships. He’ll likely be a strong safety for the Pride.
Greensboro attracted him because of its criminal justice program — several of his relatives are involved in law enforcement — and because of the presence of former Falcon Malcolm Gaither, a tight end at West but a running back at Greensboro.
“He’s one of the big reasons I’m going there,” Hosch said. “He’s a good friend, and hopefully, we can help get a winning tradition going.”
Greensboro, which plays home games at Jamieson Stadium the site of the East-West All-Star Game, won only twice last year, beating Guilford and Methodist, but help is on the way.
“Hosch is one of the real success stories,” Scott Young said. “I’m as happy for him as I am for the kids we’ve sent to D-I schools. We’re happy anytime football helps a kid get his education.”