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Parkersburg South’s Gabe Hendershot off to play football at FSU

Parkersburg South’s Gabe Hendershot blocks a Greenbrier East defensive lineman during his four-year career. Hendershot will continue his academic football career next year at Fairmont State. (Photo by Joe Albright)

PARKERSBURG — Gabe Hendershot’s football career at Parkersburg South had plenty of ups and downs, but the Patriot was there for it all.

On Friday, Hendershot had a ceremony at the school and now he’s set to continue his future as a student-athlete at Fairmont State University.

“They are probably going to look for me to be an interior lineman, either a center or a guard,” said Hendershot, a second team Class AAA all-stater who started in all 42 career games at right guard.

“I didn’t miss a game. It just kind of happened. I think it was a pretty good achievement of mine. They were actually the first school to contact me and offer me.

“I went on a visit back in December and loved it up there.”

The Patriot also visited West Liberty but opted for FSU.

When asked about wanting to start as a true freshman the 6-foot-3, 290-pounder replied “I’m just going to do what I can when I get up there and hopefully I can start. That’s the goal.

“I’m going to be majoring in health care management or psychology. I should be getting the Promise scholarship for academics and I’m getting a good bit of my school paid for football.”

PSHS reached the postseason during Hendershot’s sophomore and junior seasons. In 2019, the Patriots advanced to the state semifinals.

“A stat that stood out with Gabe, he had 40 pancake blocks,” said Patriot head coach Nathan Tanner of Hendershot’s senior campaign. “Our win-loss total didn’t really tell the tale on Gabe’s effectiveness.

“The O-line is a whole unit. One guy can be playing really, really well but if everybody else isn’t doing their job a lot of times people don’t see it. He rotated on the defensive line for us this year.”

Coach Tanner added “Gabe is pretty balanced in regards to pass blocking and run blocking. I think he’s solid at both. He’s been an exceptional drive blocker in our run game.

“In 2019, we had around 4,000 yards rushing and a lot of that was going to his side. I think his ceiling is really high. He’s got a lot of room to grow and I think he can turn into a really good college football player.”

Along with his four years on the gridiron, Hendershot also earned a pair of letters in wrestling while managing to maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

“I’ve always wanted to play college ball, ever since I was little because my brother played in college and my sister swam in college, too, so I always felt like it was a really big goal for me,” he added.

The Fighting Falcons of head coach Jason Woodman made quite the impression on the Patriot when he visited.

“It just felt like they rolled out a red carpet for me,” added the Patriot. “It just felt nice and it felt right and I’m pretty close to a lot of family up there.

“I’m excited for the competition because college is a whole different game than high school and I’m excited to compete and fight my way back up the totem pole.”

Hendershot, who admitted he doesn’t really know anyone at FSU, said pass blocking is definitely his favorite but “run blocking is really fun because I like pancaking people. I’m just really excited for something new.”

Despite winning just one game as a senior and having to deal with COVID-19, No. 67 is looking forward to the future.

“It’s really boring. It’s hard to do,” he said of doing virtual school. “It’s pretty much you have to do what you can and get through it. Honestly, I’ve really missed school after not being in it forever.

“I miss being around a bunch of people seeing friends every day. I’m glad we are going back. I’m really excited to get up there, but I’m going to miss my time here. I had a lot of fun these past four years, but I’m ready to get up there and get rolling.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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