Dual threat: Lanier excels at offense, defense at Coahulla Creek

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

Coahulla Creek High School senior Hunter Lanier (4) has become a key player for the Colts on offense and defense.

Editor's note: This story is featured in the Daily Citizen-News' weekly high school football Touchdown! section. Grab an issue in papers on Fridays during football season, or stop by our office for a copy.

VARNELL -- Hunter Lanier hasn't been at Coahulla Creek High School for his entire four-year football career. Since he transferred from Murray County High School, Lanier had to sit out his sophomore season.

Despite missing time at the school, and on the football field, the senior tight end/defensive end has worked to become one the Colts' biggest impact players, head coach Caleb Bagley said.

"Our first year as a staff, his tenth-grade year, he moved here," Bagley said. "He's blown up, man. He's gotten so much bigger, works really hard in the weight room. He probably plays the most snaps on the team as far as offense, defense, special teams. He's a big part of what we do on both sides."

On the season, Lanier is averaging a sack a game and is among the region leaders in that category. He said he enjoys the freedom that playing defensive line gives him.

"I like defensive end because there really aren't that many rules," Lanier said. 'You just go and make the tackle or you go find the ball. I'd much rather do the hitting than get hit."

From his defensive end position, Lanier said he uses his speed to get to the quarterback. At 6 feet, 2 inches and 190 pounds, he's usually smaller than opposing offensive lineman but makes up that size difference with quickness, he said.

"I just do my job, help the team win," Lanier said. "That's all I worry about."

Bagley said in addition to Lanier's defensive duties, the team also asks much of him on offense. On any given play at tight end, Lanier may running a route, catching a pass or blocking. Lanier often moves around the formation and is rarely in the wrong spot.

"That goes back to his intelligence. He can handle it," Bagley said. "He's a good one to have."

Bagley also lauded Lanier's leadership as teammates voted him as one of the four captains

"I've never had any problems with him," Bagley said. "He just shows up and works hard every day. He's having a really good senior year."

The Colts have struggled so far this season (1-6 record, 0-5 Region 6-3A). The schedule doesn't get any easier as Coahulla Creek faces defending Class 3A champion Calhoun (6-1, 4-1 in Region 6-3A) on the road tonight.

"The season hasn't been as good as we wanted it to be," Lanier said. "We were hoping to make the playoffs and win a couple of more games than we have. We're just going to keep playing hard and try to get some more wins."

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