Hawkins plays where Ads need him

December 05, 2004|MARTY WARREN

LOUISVILLE - Switching positions at midseason wasn't a big deal to Danville's Ronnie Hawkins.

Following Adam Schott's graduation two seasons ago, Danville coach Sam Harp approached Hawkins, a wide receiver, to try to convince him to play quarterback. Hawkins' accepted the challenge and led Danville to its 10th state championship last year.

Hawkins began this season at quarterback also, but Harp saw promise in sophomore Jeffrey Guest and moved Hawkins again, first to wide receiver against Owen County and later to running back to help relieve some of the pounding that senior Kelvin Turner was taking.

Harp said it was that kind of commitment that has made Danville's football program as successful as it is.

"Ronnie has been the ultimate team player," the Danville coach said following the Admirals' 23-7 loss Friday to Beechwood in the Class A championship game. "Whatever we asked him to do, he sacrificed for the team.


"His natural position is at wide receiver, but he decided to move to quarterback last year because we felt like that was best direction that we needed to go. He is very intelligent. He picked up the position right away, and you saw the reward."

Hawkins, who scored Danville's only touchdown on an 8-yard run, said there was one major change as a quarterback that he didn't see as a receiver.

"As a quarterback, you have to know what everyone's responsibilities are," Hawkins said. "As a receiver you had to know what your routes were and then concentrate on catching the ball."

Came together against Harrodsburg

Hawkins said he didn't care what position he played on the field, he just wanted to get an opportunity to play for another state title. He had his doubts whether the team was motivated enough to make the sacrifice to get there midway through the season. But after a close win against Frankfort, Hawkins said the team came together the next week against Harrodsburg.

"I thought after the Harrodsburg game, we started to come together as a team," the talented senior said. "Then we played three tough playoff games just to get here. In years past, we walked right through those games, but we had to fight hard just to win this season."

Danville used a potent ground attack to run at will last year against Beechwood. The Admirals threw just one pass during their 42-7 win over the Tigers, but the role was reversed Friday as Beechwood gained 336 total yards compared to Danville's 158.

"Last year we just lined up and ran right at them," Hawkins said. "This year was just the opposite. They were big and physical, but we were smaller than just about everybody we played against this year. We relied on heart."

Harp said as much as the Admirals needed Hawkins on offense, he was just as important on the defensive side of the ball. The first-team all-state defensive back had four tackles and a pass break-up in Friday's final and ran down Beechwood's Dustin Menetrey after a 31-yard run in the second quarter that prevented another score.

"He always had to cover the opponent's best receiver, no matter who we were playing," Harp said. "We also put him in position to play different positions during the course of the game. He may line up at a defensive back on one play, and then line up as a cornerback on another play. He was responsible for a lot of different roles, and he played all of them well."

The Danville coach said Hawkins, who won the sportsmanship Award following the game, has a future in football or baseball in college if he so desires.

"I don't know if he will go to college to play football or baseball, but whoever gets him will get a tremendous young man," Harp said. "His best position in college is at wide receiver, and he has a lot of potential as a baseball player, too."

Central Kentucky News Articles