When Shadle Park changed football coaches and systems, Shawn Kingsbury went from sprinter to battering ram.
Kingsbury moved from tailback in Bob Haney’s set to fullback in the Highlander fullhouse T-formation of Mark Hester.
On defense he moved from the defensive secondary to linebacker.
The third-year varsity player has been a featured player this year on both sides of the ball as a result.
“He’s done a tremendous amount for us,” said Hester. “Fullback is a key position for us, and teams are loading up to stop him.”
On defense, he’s been Shadle’s leading tackler.
“We moved him to outside linebacker and then inside linebacker, and he’s really responded there,” said Hester. “He really has a nose for the football.”
Last week against Central Valley, Kingsbury led Shadle rushers with 86 yards on 16 carries, giving him 383 yards in four games, the sixth best in the league.
“He’s a load,” said CV coach Rick Giampietri. “And he’s probably better on defense than offense.”
Fullback in Shadle’s offense is the hub around which the formation revolves. Kingsbury is the leading rusher in a backfield that Hester said is as good as any he’s coached.
He either takes the handoff or is the first fake that sets the rest of the offense in motion.
Kingsbury, said Hester, could play collegiately, particularly on defense. The senior athlete would be willing to walk on at schools like Eastern Washington University or even Washington State.
“Shawn has ability,” said Hester. “He may not be a blue chip Pac-10er, but he has 4.6 speed and works extremely hard.
“I think he could play in the Big Sky.”
It took Kingsbury until the sixth game of last year’s Greater Spokane League season to crack the offensive lineup. He rushed for 79 yards on 21 carries.
Fifteen pounds heavier, the move to fullback and linebacker this season in a new offense was logical.
“The offense is a lot different than what we ran in the past but wasn’t too tough to learn,” said Kingsbury. “Much of my running was side-to-side last year.
“This year the majority is upfield. It’s better suited for me.”
The Highlanders go into Friday’s game against Rogers hoping for their second win after playing well against unbeaten CV.
Trailing 34-14 at halftime, Shadle held CV scoreless and added a touchdown in the second half.
“Our team has improved a lot,” said Kingsbury. “Every game we’re getting better.”
Kingsbury is a three-sport athlete at Shadle, but it is in football that he excels.
He attended the Reebok Combine last summer in Seattle, which tested players for strength, agility and quickness for scouting purposes.
Coaches there told him that collegiately he most likely would play strong safety.
“Football has been my favorite since I was a little kid,” he said. “Hopefully a college opportunity will come my way.”
His coach believes it should, particularly if he improves his speed a bit.
“He has good instincts,” Hester said. “The one disadvantage has been the change of coaches.
“Where we’ve needed him, he’s really responded for us. Not all kids are able to do that.”
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