Player of the Week: Rabe Hale

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He entered the season as one of the few established commodities on the Longhorns’ young and inexperienced offense. That meant for the early portion of the season, opposing defenses would identify and game plan to stop No. 18.

As was apparent early on, teams did just that. But, undaunted, Rabe Hale continued to do what he most often does. He worked hard each day in practice. He took the ball every time his number was called. He sprinted around the end when the situation called for it. He took it right into the heart of the defense when such was asked of him.

The runs weren’t always pretty. Often, they would amount to a yard or two, maybe less. But against defensive fronts that knew he was coming and invited friends to the party, not shying away from the contact was an accomplishment in and of itself.

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Through the Longhorns’ first four games, Hale did what he has always done. He blocked when needed. He ran routes when needed. He took the ball when needed. He was often as much decoy as he was dangerous. But when you’re on a team of about 17 players, you do whatever is necessary to make the engine go. That is what Hale did, unselfishly and without hesitation.

Friday night against Kingwood, it all came back around for the Longhorn junior running back. His efforts netted him more than 160 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns on the ground in the Longhorns’ first region win of the season.

Hale also played his role defensively, applying the bone-jarring lick that unceremoniously removed a the ball from a Kingwood players’ hands, leaving teammate Alan Flowers to claim the suddenly freed prize and sprint the remaining distance to the end zone for one of his two defensive scores on the night.

For Hale, it was just another night doing what he has always done. If he and the Longhorns can put together a few more with similar results, Marengo Academy could crash the AISA’s postseason party against all odds.