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Hurricane's Pate a well-rounded player

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Craig Cunningham
Hurricane senior Zach Pate said he wants to earn All-State honors this season. As a junior, Pate ran for 700 yards and added 644 yards receiving for the Redskins, who finished 6-5 last season after losing in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hurricane opponents will surely be fixated on Redskins quarterback Austin Hensley, who had more passing yards last season (2,200) than any other returning player in Class AAA.

There is another weapon at Hurricane, however, that will demand equal attention.

Zach Pate, a 5-foot-8, 173-pound senior is listed on the Hurricane roster as a running back, but he does much more than that for second-year Coach Jeremy Taylor.

Pate is a multidimensional weapon for Hurricane who is one of the leading returners in the state in rushing yards (700) and receiving yards (644). Pate combined for over 1,300 total yards and 13 touchdowns, not including special team scores.

"Zach Pate does it all," Taylor said. "He was our all-purpose back for us last year. He does everything. He catches passes, runs the ball and returns punts and kickoffs. He's going to get the ball. He will be a little bit of everywhere."

Pate's solid season earned him honorable mention All-State honors, but Taylor thought he deserved even better.

Entering this season, Pate and Hensley are Daily Mail preseason first-team All-State picks.

"I want to be all-state this year," Pate said. "Me and Austin have worked our butts off. I think we deserve it, and hopefully we get good results at the end of the season. I have been dreaming about it since I was young. I've worked hard for it, and I am ready for it."

Pate has high hopes for the offense.

"Lethal," said Pate, when asked about how good the offense could be. "It takes a lot of pressure of me and the rest of the offensive players shoulders, knowing we have the best quarterback (Hensley) in the state. It's going to be really tough on the defenses."

Pate should get even more looks in the offense this season due the fact that Hurricane is without two of its better players from last year due to unforeseen circumstances.

Koi Turner, Hensley's top receiver, moved to Columbus, and running back Steven Handley turned 19 years old and is ineligible to play.

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