VIDEO: William Hackenberg talks about 45-21 win over Etiwanda.
All season long Chino Hills has used a tenacious defense to set the tone for the offense.
Last year it was Trent Goens in the middle of almost everything wreaking havoc.
This year that distinction goes to 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior defensive end William Hackenberg. Never heard of him? Well then you probably haven’t paid attention. He’s No. 11.
You wouldn’t have had reason to have heard of him before this season. He barely played as a sophomore or a junior because the Huskies already had stars playing ahead of him in Goens and J.P. Lanathou. Both those players have graduated, with Goens going on to Northwestern.
Now Hackenberg is finally getting a chance to shine. Yes it has been a long time coming.
“I really just kept hoping I’d get a chance,” he said, moments after the Huskies disposed of Etiwanda 45-21 in their regular season finale Thursday night. “It was frustrating but I just tried to keep preparing myself for when I did get a shot.”
Hackenberg went into Thursday’s game with 67 tackles, an astounding 21 1/2 of those for a loss. He has 10 1/2 sacks.
Who knows how those All-League votes are going to go. Usually the first place-team gets the top awards and the Huskies boast the best defense in the league. So Hackenberg would have to be a leading contender.
There are some good defensive players in the league – senior linebacker Bryce Youngquist of Los Osos, junior defensive back Jaylon Redd of Rancho Cucamonga and defensive back Treyjohn Butler among them.
After the game Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis sang Hackenberg’s praises.
“They have some good players on that side of the ball. He’s the guy I really like,” Davis said.
It just goes to show there is something to be said for playing against good teammates in practice preparing every day like your shot is coming tomorrow.