On paper, Hank Hoskins is listed as running back and linebacker.
But that only scratches the surface of what Hoskins means to the Lummi football team.
“Hank’s very versatile, he is a two-way starter for us,” Lummi coach Jim Sandusky said in a phone interview. “He is one of our better athletes as a passer, and hitter and he kicks on special teams.”
Hoskins was only able to play half of his sophomore season due to an injury, which limited his role as an impact player for the team. Because of the injury, Hoskins played center on offense, which has helped him become a more versatile player this season as a junior.
“It’s helped me help my lineman; I can tell them what they need to do to help me in the pocket and to open up holes for the running back,” Hoskins said in a phone interview.
The Blackhawks are likely to ask Hoskins plays multiple positions on both sides of the ball on Friday, Nov. 14, when Lummi travels south to play Lyle-Wishram in the first round of the expanded Class 1B State Playoffs in a game scheduled for a 5 p.m. kickoff. On offense he’s played both quarterback and running back. While on defense, you can find him at any position on any given play.
Although his play on both sides of the ball is stellar, Sandusky said he gives Hoskins’ play on the defensive side of the ball an edge over the offensive side.
“If I had to pin him down, his defense over his offense, but not by much,” Sandusky said.
Hoskins had his say on the matter as well.
“It depends what position I’m playing,” Hoskins said. “I’m really good at linebacker, and when I carry the ball I’m at my best.”
In a Week 3 win over Seattle Lutheran, Hoskins passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns and ran 101 and two scores on seven carries.
Hoskins has taken advantage of being healthy this season.
“He has been performing very well; we had to work on his throwing mechanics a bit,” Sandusky said. “When he is carrying the ball he makes a lot of people miss.”
The importance of having Hoskins on the field was evident in Lummi’s game against Neah Bay, a game where Hoskins got injured and had to sit out a few possessions. The Blackhawks ended up losing the game, even though Hoskins rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.
But even when he’s not on the field, Hoskins still steps up as a leader on the team.
“I just try to keep everyone together,” Hoskins said.
After a 54-8 victory in last week’s 1B quad-district game against Rainier Christian, Lummi hopes the momentum continues into the state tournament.
“We feel very good, very excited obviously,” Sandusky said. “We’re looking forward to taking care of business to host the quarterfinal game next week.”
Hoskins likes the Blackhawks’ chances as well in its first state playoff game this year.
“We’re feeling good and practicing hard,” Hoskins said. “We’re going to do really good this weekend.”