Kennith Minchey Jr. finds home at QB

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Given his playing background, Kennith Minchey Jr. is patterning his game around the right quarterback.
Minchey, who plays for the Hendersonville Junior Commandos in Tennessee, keeps a very close eye on Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. “I like the way he is able to throw the ball and run the ball,” Minchey said. “He’s a lot of fun to watch.”
The same can be said about Minchey, who primarily played running back in 2014 while rushing for 7 touchdowns. He also took some snaps at quarterback and showed some serious potential while completing 3 of 4 passes for 2 TDs.
This season, Minchey moved from running back to quarterback, and he has sparked Hendersonville to a 5-1 record. “I like playing quarterback a lot,” Minchey said. “It’s a lot of fun. I like getting the chance to throw passes and getting the chance to run the offense. It’s the first time I have run an offense and I’m just working to get better and better.”

Passing success

While the Commandos are primariy a running team, Minchey has shown they can also be dangerous through the air. Through the first six games, he has connected on 9 of 14 throws for 6 touchdowns. Minchey has also rushed for 3 more scores.
“I’m a little surprised,” Minchey said of his initial success at quarterback. “I just try to do the best job I can and be a good leader. Leading is something I like to do. At quarterback, you have the football in your hands and you have to move the offense. I like to keep everybody together.”
Minchey is in fifth grade, but the Commandos’ roster is primarily made up of sixth graders. There are 36 players on the team and only eight are in Grade 5.
“It is very good competition,” Minchey said. “I just try to get better every game and I’m trying to become a better passer, a more accurate passer. We have a Wing-T offense and we run the ball a lot, but running is something I like to do.”

Duel success

Minchey showed off his passing skills at the Duel in July, finishing second in the NFA showcase event among incoming fifth graders. The success at his first Duel helped Minchey prepare for his current season.
“Our team goal this year is to win as many games as we can and have the best possible record,” he said. “Doing so well at the Duel helped my confidence a lot. I just concentrated on competing and hitting the targets. With the success I was able to have, it made me feel like I could go out and play quarterback and help my team win.”
Before getting the Duel invite, Minchey attended two NFA camps.
“NFA has helped me a lot,” he said. “They helped me on getting to zero with my throwing mechanics, with my footwork and dropping back, and they worked with me on my handoffs. I was able to make more accurate passes and that helped me to hit the targets when I was at the Duel. They also helped me to read defenses.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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