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Transfer Pitcock playing well for Hays High

Published on -9/27/2012, 10:31 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School senior Chance Pitcock has been a playmaker in the early part of his Indian career.

Pitcock, who moved from Russell to Hays this summer when his parents moved their home-based family nutritional business, leads his team in forced turnovers.

He has three interceptions and a fumble recovery through four games, and his three picks and four total turnovers also is tied for lead in the Western Athletic Conference.

"There's no doubt he makes plays, and he's a big part of what we do defensively in our scheme," Hays High head coach Ryan Cornelsen said. "We try to put him on their best receiver a lot of times."

Pitcock has made quite the name for himself in just his first season with Hays High and filled a void in the secondary by departed seniors.

Cornelsen said he didn't find out about Pitcock's arrival until mid summer, and Pitcock joined their summer weights program shortly after.

Though Pitcock's had to quickly learn the playbook and adapt to Hays High's routine, Cornelsen said he's a fast learner and has been an X-factor for the Indians with his speed.

"Once he made the commitment to come here, he didn't miss a day of summer weights, he didn't miss a day of camp, he jumped on board and when he got here, he was all in," Cornelsen said.

Pitcock said he expected it to be a challenge to adjust, going from Class 3A to 5A, but he said it hasn't been too difficult. The most different aspect of the two levels is how much more teams pass at higher classifications.

"I came in Week 1 and thought they'd be bigger and hit harder, but I don't really see much difference," Pitcock said.

When his family decided to move, he said it was a scary proposition. After all, he had lived in Russell his entire life. He only really knew two people at Hays High: fullback/linebacker Preston Weigel and his girlfriend.

"It was a huge decision," Pitcock said. "I didn't know coming to this big school if I'd even start as a senior. I didn't know if they had all their seniors picked to start. It was a really risky decision, but it's paid off so far."

At Russell, he was used all over on offense and defense, but at Hays High, he's played a more focused role.

The Indians use his speed in defensive coverage and on kick returns, while he plays only a limited role on offense as a change-of-pace runner.

"It's a little different, but when the team's winning and everything, it's really exciting," Pitcock said. "The coach is doing what is best, clearly."

With Pitcock's addition, it allowed Hays High to move Weigel from safety to linebacker, where the Indians weren't very deep, so Cornelsen said Pitcock's move helped Hays High in multiple ways.

Though many players might take a tremendous time to adjust to a new environment, Cornelsen said Pitcock stepped up as soon he arrived for summer weights.

"He earned that spot quickly and never looked back," Cornelsen said.

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