BRITT, Iowa – The West Hancock Eagles are off to a hot 4-0 start on the season, one of its best in recent years.
The team is fueled by hopes of getting back to the UNI-Dome yet again, and driven by KIMT News 3’s Student-Athlete of the Week.
“He’s one of our go-to guys when it becomes crunch time and he’s a great leader, both verbally and by example, so he’s done a nice job and if you need somebody to go to – he’d be the guy to go to.”
West Hancock coach Mark Sanger is talking about fullback and middle linebacker Tate Hagen who has been punishing defenses all season long. In Friday’s 42-7 win over Forest City, he rushed for 205 yards and caught for another 56, totaling for more than half of the Eagles’ yardage.
He says it is not him that deserves the credit, it is the offensive line.
“They work hard,” Hagen said. “They work just as hard as me or Joe, or anybody else and is doing and they deserve a lot of credit that they don’t get all of the time. I get a lot of news articles and people wanting to interview me and they deserve a lot of credit too.”
A player with Hagen’s talent should come as no surprise as the Eagles traditionally use the floor of the gridiron, something that dates back to head coach Bob Sanger’s playing days.
“It’s just something that’s been instilled in us since we’ve been little kids. Ever since we did fifth and sixth-grade football down here, it’s just been taught to us by the coaches,” said Hagen.
“Coach Sanger for a lot of years – it’s what he did in college, I think it’s what he did in high school, so it’s kind of what he stuck with,” said Mark Sanger. “It’s what he knew when he knew how to teach the correct way and we’ve always had some blue-collar kids that like to work, that are tough, and that bodes well with the kind of offense that we run.”
Hagen is confident this strategy will lead the undefeated Eagles to the goal he has for this team.
“State champs. Nothing less.”
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