Football: Anzar looks to rebound in league opener

Hawks QB Dave Conrath also plays defensive end and on kickoff return.

There aren’t many quarterbacks who also play defensive end and on kickoff return. But that’s exactly the situation Anzar High senior Dave Conrath found himself in a 60-0 loss to Fresno Christian last week. Even though the Hawks couldn’t stay with one of the best 8-man football teams in the state, they might have found a potent passing combination in Conrath and tight end Andres Cobian.

In a season-opening 16-14 loss to Kings Christian, the two connected three times for 70 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown. Anzar, which plays its Mission Trail League opener against Stuart Hall of San Francisco on Friday, has traditionally been a strong running team, but this season it could have more success passing the ball. That’s because Conrath has more weapons on the outside this season, starting with the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Cobian.

“Andres is a really good player, and we also have some other players who are (currently) ineligible that could open up the passing game more if they get back,” said the 6-foot, 155-pound Conrath, who also has played on the baseball team for the last three years. “I feel more comfortable and confident now from my first year at quarterback as a sophomore. I’m able to forget about the last play—whether it’s a positive or negative—and execute what I need to do.”

Conrath has played some snaps at defensive end before, so when he played both ways against Fresno Christian, it wasn’t a big surprise. Conrath was playing defensive end and on kickoff return because of the team’s thin numbers. However, Conrath said he enjoys playing different positions.

“Football is still my favorite sport,” he said. “It always has been, even though I didn’t play until I got to Anzar.”

Offensively, Conrath can run and pass, but it’s the latter where he hopes to make the biggest impact. For Cobian, he’s learned a valuable lesson in academics and discipline. Cobian was ineligible to play in his freshman year and suited up for a couple of games last season before being declared inelible.

“I started off this school year in a good way,” he said. “I’ve been doing all my responsibilities with school and practice, and it’s been good. Once you’re actually not playing football, you don’t know what you’re missing. That’s my motivation now, to stay on the field and perform.”

And that’s exactly what Cobian did in the season opener, getting behind the Kings Christian defense for some big plays. Cobian’s two scores were the first of his career.

“Dave made some great throws, and the plays worked out perfectly,” Cobian said. “When I scored, I felt all adrenaline and heard the crowd. It was a great feeling.”

Cobian was one of Anzar’s track and field standouts last spring, as he competed in several events: the 100, 200, long jump and relay teams. Cobian has above-average speed, size and route-running ability. He loves everything about football, opting to work out, lift weights and do football drills in his spare time.

“I just want to improve and see the team play to its potential,” he said. “We’re capable of doing some good things.”

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