August 17, 2019
By HENDRIX SPORTS INFORMATION
CONWAY – After guiding Hendrix to a 2015 Southern Athletic Association Championship and leading the Warriors to an impressive 8-2 record in 2017, head coach Buck Buchanan looks to continue to revitalize the Hendrix football program following a 2-8 effort in 2018.
Buchanan, who was hired immediately after Hendrix football ended its 52-year hiatus, enters his seventh season as the head man for the Warriors. Buchanan currently holds a 34-27 (.557) mark while at Hendrix with a 23-21 (.522) record in SAA play and also has guided Hendrix to finishing in the top three in the SAA three different seasons in his six years here.
After an injury sidelines him for over 75 percent of the 2018 season, one of the top quarterbacks that Hendrix has seen is back and will be wearing the black and orange this fall. After being one of the top quarterbacks, statistically, in the entire country in 2017, Miles Thompson played just more than one full game before getting injured and missed the rest of the 2018 season. Thompson, who has throw for more than 4,400 yards and 46 touchdowns, will be one of several Warrior players who bring back several years of collegiate experience.
Offensively, Thompson is joined again by Kip VanHoose. VanHoose, who led the entire SAA in rushing yards a season ago, is looking to build off a season in which the Kansas City, Mo., product rushed for 860 yards and three scores.
On the offensive line and returning for this season year is Xavion Gardner. Gardner is a two-time All-SAA First Team selection and was part of the offensive line that led the NCAA with 600 yards of total offense per game.
Defensively, Ronnie McShan, Tanner Hartsfield and Jared Bazley return for the Warriors. All three obtained All-SAA Honorable Mention honors a year ago while Hartsfield led the team in tackles with 31 solo and 70 total tackles and Bazley earned D3football.com National Team of the Week honors once. On the special teams side of things, kicker Sandy Burks returns for his senior year. A native of North Little Rock, Burks has successfully made 14 field goals, 70 PATs and has logged 56 kickoffs for 2,973 yards as a Warrior and earned D3football.com National Team of the Week honors once, as well, last season.
Coach Buchanan was able to welcome in more than 25 new Warriors to the Hendrix football program. Of those 25-plus newcomers, one of those names should be familiar to Conway residents.
Multi-sport sport athlete Jacob Wood shined as the star quarterback for Conway Christian, a guard for the men’s basketball team and also played baseball for the Eagles.
Wood, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback who holds several school records, led the Eagles to a 10-3 record on the 2018 season that ended in a two-point loss in the state quarterfinals to Mount Ida.
Other notable newcomers who could have a sensational freshman campaign include: wide receiver Tyler Rodriguez who earned Texas 3A Player of the Year honors and recorded 42 touchdowns at quarterback from Bonham, Texas; Thayne Garnett who is an all-around half back, tight end and running back and is a Weatherford, Texas, native running with the first-team offense; and also freshman wide receiver Harrison Campbell a native of Bentonville. Wood and Campbell both played in the Arkansas All-Star Game in June at University of Central Arkansas. Defensively, notable players to look for include defensive back’s Canon Roeder of Frisco Wakeland, Texas; Gus Asle from Frisco Reedy, Texas; and Riley Strey of Flower Mound, Texas.
Hendrix opens the 2019 season Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. with another nonconference contest against Lyon College in Conway in a classic “Battle for ScotZilla” rivalry; looking for its third victory over the Scots in Conway in three attempts. The Warriors will hit the road for the next two games; taking on Texas Lutheran in Seguin, Texas and battling Birmingham-Southern in Birmingham, Ala., to open up SAA play. Hendrix returns back to Conway Oct. 5 to look for another victory against SAA rival Rhodes. Other notable games include the annual Hendrix College Sports Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony Nov. 2 versus Trinity and Senior Day Nov. 16 against the Sewanee Tigers from Young-Wise Memorial Stadium.