For three seasons, Hunter Knoblauch was Andale’s star running back, racking up nearly 4,000 career yards and earning a Top 11 selection as a senior.
Knoblauch’s gone, yet Andale (7-2) is a favorite to win Class 4A-II. One reason is junior back Zach Meyer.
“Zach’s a really hard worker,” Andale coach Gary O’Hair said. “He’s one that’s always getting after it, whether it’s practice or the weight room. He’s the one you’re excited about as a coach to have success because he works so hard.”
Meyer, who has 100 carries and 1,002 rushing yards, will help lead Andale into its first-round playoff game against visiting Nickerson at 7 on Friday night.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
His strength is the ability to change direction, along with having good balance and acceleration. He is patient with his blockers and sees the hole well.
“Many of those things, you can’t teach a running back,” O’Hair said. “They either have it or they don’t.”
While Meyer likely wasn’t on many football fans’ radar, he certainly was with the Andale coaching staff.
“I knew watching him on (junior varsity) and at the end of varsity games that he had good vision and would run hard,” O’Hair said. “I knew he would be a good running back.
“You always hope some kids will surprise you and be a little better than you realize they will be. He’s gone beyond what we expected.”
O’Hair had seen his speed defensively, too. Meyer, as a sophomore, showed his skill at accelerating and tackling some of the best backs in 4A.
“I knew he had talent and wasn’t intimidated by anyone,” O’Hair said. “We had high hopes.”