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ALBRIGHT: Gilmer County quarterback Ean Hamric has a great chance at some history

Gilmer County QB Ean Hamrick (with the ball) dodges past multiple Parkersburg Catholic defenders during a 2019 regular-season game. Hamric returns to the field as the reigning all-state first-team QB with a good chance to do it again. (Photo by Joe Albright)

Let’s face it: Passing quarterbacks aren’t exactly the first topic of conversation brought up when talking about Class A football.

Unless you are East Hardy great Corey McDonald, it is much more likely discussions are turning to running backs and defenses.

In the smallest classification, these two units make the world go round. Most teams don’t want to risk throwing the ball only to turn it over. Therefore, safety often lies in the ground game coupled with holding your opponents out of the end zone.

So, what is it about Gilmer County quarterback Ean Hamric causing so much buzz with just days remaining before the season starts?

Well, he’s got an awfully good chance at sharing a bit of history with McDonald for one thing. You see, it appears he’s destined to become the first quarterback to repeat as the best in the classification since McDonald left Baker in 2016.

Mark it down.

Sure, Ritchie County signal-caller Ethan Haught and Wheeling Central’s Michael Toepfer are going to have their says. It would be foolish to think both of them won’t be finding success, given the reputations owned by both the Rebels’ and Maroon Knights’ programs.

Yet, where they’re learning to work with their new weapons on the offensive side of the ball, Hamric and the Titans are already hitting the ground running.

“Our offense is ready to explode. We had a big chance for it last year. We’ve always showed glimpses since I was a freshman. And we’ve only gotten better over the past two years,” Hamric said. “It (grabbing an all-state first team spot) was a big motivator last year and to try and get it again this year is an even bigger motivator.”

The boom won’t be small, either.

“I really think we are going to have a diverse form of attack. I am really excited to see what other guys can do this year. They have shown some things in the past and may not have had the state, but that is going to change this year,” Hamric said.

Yes, returning favorite targets Avery Chapman and Elijah Facemire won’t be the only ones getting a chance at catching passes.

“I really feel good with all of our receivers. They really have the most experience and that definitely is an advantage to always be on the same page,” Hamric said.

And, obviously if they look good doing their thing, Hamric is going to look good doing his thing.

Defenses can do whatever they want, but Hamric’s got the tools to counter their attacks. Should his receivers be blanketed, he has no problem putting the pass a little in front of his intended target.

Or should one of his receivers get in a foot race with a defender, they won’t need to break stride because the pass will be coming toward their back shoulder.

“I mean we will really take whatever is there,” he said.

When a team has that kind of approach, it means nothing is off the table. Go, slant, post, comeback, flat routes, you name it and Gilmer County’s drawing it up to execute. It makes Hamric even deadlier in late-game situations.

But, perhaps what sets him apart the most this year is his vision. That ability to see what defenses are going to do in slow motion and then react might be the strongest part of his game. And it really isn’t even close.

In the Titans only 7-on-7 drill against Clay County, Hamric already had his mind made up where he was going to go with the football before the ball was even snapped.

Of course, that is deadly because it means he doesn’t really need to work through his progressions to find his checkdowns. If he feels comfortable going to a certain receiver, he can get the ball out early and watch them rack up yards after the catch.

These facts just add to his ever-expanding quarterback arsenal, and make it that much harder to keep a good Titan down.

If anyone else needs any more assurances that he is going to do whatever it takes, then just listen to this quote from Hamric on his outlook for this season. It really puts a nice wrap on why the Titan is a special case.

“I love winning and I know if I play to the best of my abilities, we will always have a good chance to win. I would rather win then have the personal accolades. Now it is all about going back out there and proving it.”

Should the Titans and he succeed in doing that, there’s going to be more than just wins in his future. That much is for sure.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.

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