MR. MOTOR…Tegun Whitehead | Snow Canyon – Santa Clara, UT
Region 9 Football Spotlight Player Presented by Fabulous Freddy's!
TEGUN WHITEHEAD | SNOW CANYON | SENIOR | LB |
By RUSTYN BURNSIDE, ESPN 97.7
The Snow Canyon Warriors were a multi-faceted football team last year, excelling in multiple statistical categories. Yet, if you had to ask a region 9 fan what the Warriors were most known for, they would likely allude to a powerful defense. The Warriors 190 points allowed on the season put them firmly near the top for Utah 4A’s best defense, only three points behind number one, Sky View. Making that statistic even more impressive, is the fact that Snow Canyon had to deal with the top three most high-powered offenses in 4A in their region alone. Speaking of region, Snow Canyon would only relent 90 points in 6 region games, which was a region best by 21 points. However, the most impressive part of it all, is the fact that the Warriors were no stranger to injuries, especially of the defensive variety. Snow Canyon had many big-time players and play makers who would go down throughout the season or end up missing time. The fact that they were always in “next man up mode” and still did what they did speaks volumes of that group.
One of the biggest examples of all this is Tegun Whitehead. Tegun is tearing up offseason camps right now and no doubt, looking forward to what should be an impactful year with a stacked Warriors linebacking corps. While that is all well and good, Whitehead has had his unfair share of adversity, dealing with injuries that anyone would hate to see a player go through. Only 5 games into last year, after only the 2nd region game of the season, Whitehead suffered a season ending injury. Not trying to dwell on the past too much, you can imagine why there may be a renewed excitement for the powerful linebacker when it comes to this upcoming season.
Before the injury, Tegun was setting the football scene in Southern Utah on fire. In 5 games. Whitehead had recorded 44 tackles, a stunning 8.8 tackles a game. At season end, he would still rank 2nd among all Warriors with tackles per game. Despite playing six less games than many of his teammates, his 44 tackles would land him 5th on the team. Such work in a short amount of time has region 9 fans ecstatic to see what he can do in his senior season. It isn’t all about total tackle numbers, as his 20 assisted tackles (4th on the team) prove his ability to be wherever the ball carrier is. Whitehead is a known force when it comes to wicked hits and absolute focus when it comes to finishing or helping finish up plays.
Whitehead seemed to get better week by week, evident by his 22 tackles in two games in weeks three and four. He recorded 11 against Ridgeline, 7 solo, and then followed it up with 11 in the Warriors region opener VS Cedar. Per MaxPreps, in Week 5 before the injury, Tegun had 2.5 tackles for loss as a part of 8 total tackles against Crimson Cliffs. In that same game, Tegun demonstrated his pass rushing ability with 1.5 sacks to top it all off. He had recorded a sack the week before against the Reds, making for a season total of 2.5 sacks. Those 2.5 sacks ended up tied for 2nd best on the team. With the Warriors defensive lineup, Snow Canyon can give opposing Quarterbacks all sorts of unique looks to throw them off kilter. Whitehead will factor into a lot of those. Fans, and I would bet, Tegun, likely expect that wrecking ball energy when the season kicks off August 11th. Despite missing those six games last season, Tegun Whitehead is on a crash course for an outstanding year where he will make sure you didn’t forget who he is and what he does.
"Tegun Whitehead is a throwback old school type of teammate and football player. Really the heart of the team. He’s had some very hard personal setbacks with season ending injuries. Last year having an ACL knee injury early in the season.
He has one speed & that’s full speed. He’s super tough and football smart. Maybe the best motor of any kid I’ve coached. His attitude & belief in achieving our team goals is contagious. He at all times is willing to do what needs to be done for the Team. I’m excited for him to have the senior year he deserves and has earned. I believe he is the best linebacker in our region & in the state if all things are considered."
-Michael Esplin, Snow Canyon Head Coach
THE WARRIORS HIT THE ROAD FOR A TOUGH GAME ONE STANDOFF WITH STANSBURY ON AUGUST 11TH.