The Keller Central football team has been improving each week, and the offense has certainly been potent.
But Central head coach Bart Helsley said it’s the ability of the defense that has turned good performances into wins.
Some of that strength is on the defensive front, where senior Christian Worthy anchors one end.
Worthy, a converted linebacker until last year, said he feels the move to the defensive front has served him – and his team – quite well.
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“It was in the best interest of the team, and I definitely didn’t mind the move,” Worthy said.
What also made the move possible was a 25-pound increase on Worthy’s 5-10 frame coupled with him gaining quickness. He credited hard work in powerlifting, eating right and genetics for the increase in size and strength.
“I like to play deep in the trenches and be more physical,” Worthy said. “I’m more comfortable there (at end) now. I’m smarter than when I was at linebacker because I’ve been able to get high-quality reps. I think my confidence and experience in making reads helps me.”
Worthy is quick to credit his position coach, Bobby Holloway, and his “rival” on the other end, Austin Gaither.
The move is paying off for the Chargers, too.
Last year, Worthy went without a sack, but he has registered three already this year. He’s added 60 tackles thus far.
A point of pride for Worthy and the defense is their ability to “fight for the offense and give them takeaways and opportunities to put points on the board,” he said.
The defense backed that up with six takeaways against Fossil Ridge last week in the Chargers’ 49-28 win.
Worthy said his biggest challenge is normally lining up across from the opposition’s biggest lineman.
“A lot of the time, my size is used as an asset,” he said. “Being smaller (compared to offensive tackles or tight ends), I can be quicker and get under them and get around them. I use it to my advantage.”
Whether Worthy will play in college next year is up in the air, but he would welcome the opportunity.
“It would be fantastic if God blesses with that, but I’m not worried about that right now,” he said. “I just want to make the playoffs and end on the best note we can.”
Until then, Worthy and his fellow seniors are relishing the key rivalry wins over Keller and Ridge, with Timber Creek on this week’s horizon.
“Beating Keller was a highlight of the season,” Worthy said. “We hadn’t beaten them in a few years. It was the seniors’ last time to play them. It’s a game we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”
There are still likely other memories Worthy and the other senior Chargers will hang on to.
“I’ll cherish the moments with guys I won’t be with again,” he said. “It’s definitely sad to think about, but we’ll make the best and end on the best note we possibly can.”