• October 14, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: McGarity making the most at new position - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: McGarity making the most at new position

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Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8:56 pm

All Senjun McGarity wanted was a chance to show what he can do.

The senior has been shifted around to many different positions during his time as a Broncho. In his last season of high school football, he’s getting the opportunity to do what he enjoys the most on the field.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to run the ball,” McGarity said. “When I got here, I wanted to run the ball and now I’m glad that I have the chance to do that here. I’ve worked for a long time to get to this spot and for that I’m grateful.”

McGarity is transitioning into his role as a feature tailback for Odessa High after spending time primarily as an H-back and tight end last year. It was a bit of an adjustment after rushing for 533 yards and four touchdowns his sophomore year. For head coach Danny Servance, it was a role that he felt that McGarity felt he could succeed in.

“The thing about Senjun is he’s very versatile,” Servance said. “There’s no telling where you may see him in our offensive scheme. That gives us an advantage because he can do so many different things and we can line him up without changing personnel.”

In his role as a blocker, McGarity helped lead the way for Josh Lara, who finished with 1,022 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in 2018.

Both players shared the role as the feature backs in 2017 and McGarity says he learned plenty from the now-freshman running back at Wayland Baptist.

“We would always talk a lot and go to a lot of games together,” he said. “Josh would show me a lot about vision and just being patient as a runner. I’ve definitely learned a lot from him.”

Through two games, McGarity is trying to use that knowledge to his advantage and had his best game of the early season last Friday rushing for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the 37-14 victory over Jefferson County (Miss.).

He’s also trying to pass some of that knowledge to his teammate in the backfield. Senior Michael Salas is new on the varsity roster and rushed for 83 yards in last week’s win. He and McGarity have both shared the load in the backfield and credits him for helping get up to speed early on.

“I’ve been looking up to Senjun,” Salas said. “He’s a leader to me and I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s a big back and we know we have to trust the line and follow our assignments.”

Salas and McGarity are each taking on the workload to keep the Bronchos running attack moving. And having two backs that complement each other gives Servance and the team plenty of confidence.

“I always try to teach him a little bit,” said McGarity of Salas. “It’s his first time on varsity but I feel like he should have been varsity a long time ago. He’s got a lot of talent and he’s been working hard. He’s been very good.”

“You loving have two tough backs like Michael and Senjun back there,” Servance said. “From the professional to the high school level, you almost can’t make it a whole season with just one running back with the type of pounding they take in night in and night out. It’s great to have those backs so you can keep them fresh.”

Having Salas to spell McGarity becomes even more important moving forward after McGarity took a few snaps at defensive end in Friday’s game and Servance noted earlier this week that would continue moving forward.

“Senjun is a great, athletic defensive end and you have to have that in this day and age of spread offenses,” Servance said. “You’ll see him over there from time to time.”

It’s not the first time that McGarity has played on defense saying that he saw time during his freshman year on the front lines.

“I love playing defense,” he said. “It’s just kind of exciting to get involved into that so I’ve been working on that too.”

No matter where McGarity lines up, he’ll be a big key in helping the Bronchos try to slow down Lubbock Coronado at 7 tonight at Lowrey Field. Odessa High lost last year’s matchup in a 30-27 nail biter at Ratliff Stadium and McGarity wants to be prepared to try and take care of business.

“After winning last week, this is the game that could be a momentum changer,” he said. “Now, we just want to be ready for whatever Lubbock Coronado throws at us.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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